Now that we’ve all had our tween-aged boy snicker, we’re going to speak British.
The daughter, my primary research assistant, sent me a link to a YouTube video about a now-extinct job. In the heyday of the Industrial Revolution, many men in the cities of the UK, worked in the factories and mills. They were expected to be at work ungodly early, by 5:00, 5:30 or 6:00 AM. Alarm clocks had not been invented, and the sun was not up. How were they to get to work on time?
Who wakes up the bugler who plays Reveille, to wake everyone else at a military base? The answer to that question is the reason that it’s now recorded, and played automatically. This task fell to certain people, who would come around to your house, and tap on a window to rouse the worker. These were usually the neighborhood night watchmen, who were paid to stay up all night, and keep an eye open for fires.
Since bedrooms were usually on the second or third floors, they carried a long wooden rod, often bamboo, with a metal hook or knob on the end. Why not just stand outside and shout?? Because not every house had a mill-worker, and even the ones that did, had wives and children who could benefit from another couple of hours sleep.
It was an interesting human answer to one of the first technological problems. I have in the past, and I do now, stay up (almost) all night. I’ve roused my children, to go to school, and day jobs. I don’t tap on other bloggers’ windows, but I do publish in the middle of my night. It’s sometimes interesting to see who I wake.
Feel free to stop back in a couple of days when we’re all awake, to see if I’m successful this week with a 100-word Flash Fiction, or if I have to tap into my cache, and publish a WOW. I’m setting my alarm. 😆