Watchman's rattle

an instrument having at the end of a handle a revolving arm, which, by the action of a strong spring upon cogs, produces, when in motion, a loud, harsh, rattling sound.

See also: Watchman

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References in classic literature ?
It's a useful thing to have in the house in case of fire or thieves," observed Laurie, as a watchman's rattle appeared, amid the laughter of the girls.
After the separate concussions could no longer be noted, the reverberations dwindled to a wild, long-sustained clatter of sounds such as a watchman's rattle produces.
Wegg was a knotty man, and a close-grained, with a face carved out of very hard material, that had just as much play of expression as a watchman's rattle.
Vincent Capozzi, Senior Vice President, Sales & Marketing at Harvard Pilgrim - Rebecca Costa, Sociobiologist and Author of The Watchman's Rattle - Shan Fowler, Director of Marketplaces at Benefitfocus - J.