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Sunday, January 11, 2015

Pea Shooter

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.
Previously posted here.
I was lying bed this morning and I got to thinking that a long distance pea shooter could come in very handy right about now. I can see daring daughter's apartment from mine. We are maybe 200 or 300 yards apart and there are no intervening buildings, so if I was up to it, I could toss a pebble at her window to get her attention. Yes, I could call her, if I could figure out how to make the phone work, but ringers are so annoying, don't you think? A pea striking your window doesn't make much noise, but it's a time tested method of getting someone's attention.
   300 yards is a fur piece to throw something, and anything solid enough to make the trip might be solid enough to break the window when it got there, and we don't want to do that.
    It's beginning to sound like a ballistics problem for a firearm, but with the added constraint that the terminal velocity has to be rather low. Now I wonder if it could be even be done. Wondering led to Google which turned up:

Laser Guided Peas
Seems there is regular world championship held in the UK every year. They're only going for 12 yards though, so I don't think lasers are going to help me.


1 comment:

Unknown said...

Wholly cow Pea Shooters a laser guided peashooter. I was pretty good as a kid with my trusty pea shooter, but this is high state of the art pea shooting.....