Home Science & Technology How did people wake up before the advent of the alarm clock? How did people wake up before the advent of the alarm clock?The first systematic attempts to wake up before sunrise can be traced back to ancient times when people experimented with water clocks. Science & Technology 2023-07-01 by Space Navy 0 Comment The first systematic attempts to wake up before sunrise can be traced back to ancient times when people experimented with water clocks. Before the invention of the electric light in the 19th century, most people went to bed after sunset and got up at sunrise. The first attempts to wake up without the help of nature were made in ancient times with the help of water clocks. These clocks resembled hourglasses and consisted of a water container and the water flowed out of it through a small hole. In the water container, for example, there were small balls that rolled out and landed on a metal plate when all the water was gone from the container. It is said that the Greek philosopher Plato (427 – 347 BC) had such a water clock so that he could arrive on time for his lessons in the morning. On the other side of the world, the Chinese used light clocks to wake up. It consisted of a wax candle into which a nail was inserted. When the candle burned down, the nail came loose and fell on a metal tray, but the noise woke those who were sleeping. Some “knocker-uppers” woke the cows with a blow pipe. © Topfoto / Ritzau Scanpix Mechanical watches appeared in Europe in the 14th century. Although some of them could be set to make a noise at a certain time, the watches were both expensive and unreliable. Many therefore used other methods of awakening; for example, the British relied on so-called knocker-uppers, people who stayed up all night to wake their cows. The awakening consisted of knocking on the windows of the cows with a stick or shooting small stones at the windows through a blow pipe. Alarm clocks first became available to the public in the 1870s when the American Seth Thomas Clock Company patented this small, practical device.