Getting to Work
The fledgling SNP Company was delivering security services to a range of Australian businesses.
Most popular were the services of the block watchmen patrolling the streets of the Sydney CBD at the time. Their function was to turn the lights of business premises on and off and making sure the neon signs were functioning correctly, as these were seen as important for advertising purposes.
Armed with a long stick with a hook on the end, the block watchman would walk along a city street, reaching up with his stick to pull on a light. Then, later the same night, after the theatre patrons had gone home, he would return to turn the lights off. Unlike today, electricity was expensive and every effort was made not to waste it and so, after the block watchman had passed, the city closed down to near total darkness.
The other function of the block watchman was to make sure the grills on the shops were closed and the padlocks were in place and locked. Block watchmen also took responsibility for boilers, turning them on at a designated time ready for the shift to start in the morning.
Next: The Thirties (1930′s)
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