daylight savings

When and why was daylight savings started?

Ben Franklin, circa 1800, to allow more daylight hours in the evening…or so I’ve been told.

“Come learn the history of daylight saving, from Benjamin Franklin to the present…”
read the whole history right here:

and since most people are too lazy to read links…

Idea of Daylight Saving Time:

The idea of daylight saving was first conceived by Benjamin Franklin (portrait at right) during his sojourn as an American delegate in Paris in 1784, in an essay, “An Economical Project.” Read more about Franklin’s essay.

Some of Franklin’s friends, inventors of the oil lamp, were so taken by the scheme that they continued corresponding with Franklin even after he returned to America.

The idea was first advocated seriously by a London builder, William Willett (1857-1915), in the pamphlet “Waste of Daylight” (1907) that proposed advancing clocks 20 minutes on each of four Sundays in April, and retarding them by the same amount on four Sundays in September. As he was taking an early morning a ride through Petts Wood, near Croydon, Willett was struck by the fact that the blinds of nearby houses were closed, even though the sun was fully risen. When questioned as to why he didn’t simply get up an hour earlier, Willett replied with typical British humor, “What?” In his pamphlet “The Waste of Daylight” he wrote:

“Everyone appreciates the long, light evenings. Everyone laments their shortage as Autumn approaches; and everyone has given utterance to regret that the clear, bright light of an early morning during Spring and Summer months is so seldom seen or used”.

He actually said “Watt,” much funnier, but we can never be sure, can we?

Folks who advocate just getting up an hour earlier ignore that other schedules would have to compensate too–why get up an hour earlier if you don’t have to be at a school until later that morning? That’s the whole purpose of Daylight Savings Time, coordinating such schedules.

That being said, I think Daylight Savings Time is bad. Especially the idea of year-round Daylight Savings Time, which was observed during World War II in the USA, apparently. Why didn’t they just circulate a war poster that pointed out the patriotic duty of getting things done in the daylight? That way you never have midday when the Sun isn’t at the midway.

Checking in from Indiana - one of the only states that doesn’t follow Daylight Savings Time. Half the year we’re on New York time and half the year we’re on Chicago time, except certain border counties who do their own time thing.

The joke here goes that in Indiana we don’t want DST because that extra hour of daylight could burn the corn.

The Obligatory Nitpick:

It’s “Daylight Saving”, not “Daylight Savings”.

For any working folk who are office trapped until 4-5 pm, daylight saving time is a life saver.

As the thread title makes clear, we’re talking about “daylight savings time” not “daylight saving time” :slight_smile:

Standard time came in due to the railroads. I don’t have a name, cite or link, but believe the guy that promoted standard time, later got into the daylight savings idea.

Johnny has already picked the nit, but I have to ask… why do so many people call it Daylight Savings Time? It sounds ugly, it takes longer to type, it makes no sense grammatically and it’s just plain wrong! Why do people feel the urge to sneak that extra “s” in there? Do they say “I’ve been savings up for months to buy this” too?

Cecil Adams on daylight saving time.

Easier to say?

Doesn’t do jack for those of us working until 11:30 pm, though. The world’s against me.

jjI posted this question to the American Dialect Society List last night and got many a well-reasoned answer.

It is assumed that the public was used to saying “savings account” and “savings bank” among other things, and it just seemed to confabulate with the other words they were already familiar with.

I live in Indiana and have lived in New York, and having lived both ways, I can say that Daylight Saving Time is a barbarous custom, inhuman and cruel to inflict upon people.

:eek: Wow! Talk about your “barbarous, inhuman and cruel.”