A forgotten profession: In the days before alarm clocks were widely affordable, people like Mary Smith of Brenton Street were employed to rouse sleeping people in the early hours of the morning. They were commonly known as ‘knocker-ups’ or ‘knocker-uppers’. Mrs. Smith was paid sixpence a week to shoot dried peas at market workers’ windows in Limehouse Fields, London. Photograph from Philip Davies’ Lost London: 1870-1945.
Yeah, right. She's actually the neighborhood nuisance going around and harassing good, law-abiding folks. She shoots beans at their windows. By the time they come to the window to see what is going on she has turned and is shuffling down the street all innocent-like. What? Me shoot peas at windows? That's a laugh, ducky! Now be off with you!