Who came up with Daylight Saving Time?

Twice yearly, when the time of day jumps ahead an hour or falls back sixty minutes, I get to thinking: who exactly was the guy who came up with this plan? It’s seriously genius. What kind of brain decides that, to solve the energy & resource crisis, the best move is to just…readjust standardized time? If you know who came up with this, can you let me know what ELSE he/she did? I’m in awe every year.

As a postscript, was daylight savings time voted in by congress? By presidential decree? Just to round out the overall issue here…

Benjamin Franklin. He was joking, though.

Not neccessarily true. I believe the book is called The Great Improvisation, a recent biography of Franklin’s year in France. In it, it is claimed that someone else came up with the idea and it was falsely attributed to Franklin. Sorry, I don’t have the book anymore, can’t cite.

Birdmonster. I just corrected your thread title to Saving Time instead of Savings. I figure this will save 29 posts by members correcting you. :slight_smile:

Who came up with it is in question, however, here in America it has been taught in schools the Benjamin Franklin came up with the idea.

The first country to use DST was Germany during WWI.

U.S. Congress voted on and approved the usage of DST (at least temporarily) during WWI, around 1918 I believe, as a cost savings measure.

Since then both Congress and the President have made changes to DST.

Franklin was either joking, or just kicking an idea around semiseriously. You might actually credit William Willet with the invention. Willet was an English builder who wrote a pamphlet called “The Waste of Daylight” in 1907, and lobbied hard to get his scheme adopted. Nevertheless, it was Germany, rather than the UK that first adopted a form of the idea.

Be glad we didn’t adopt Willet’s original suggestion. He wanted to advance the clocks by 80 minutes in 20 minute increments over 4 weeks in April, and decrement them again over 4 weeks in September:

The 1918 act that provided for DST, was the first time congress had set standard time zones as well. Standard time was common at that time, particularly with the railroads, thanks to Canadian railroadman Sir Sandford Fleming who had promoted the idea in the industry in the 1870s.

Thanks. It’s all about learning, you know.

And just in case that last post came off as snippy, it wasn’t supposed to. Emoticons & I have a tumultuous relationship. I’m still curious as to who it was that our esteemed Mr. Franklin borrowed this idea from, and if that biography has any concrete evidence supporting it’s claim.

Although he never says who invented it (sorry OP), the master has written about DST before.

And just to clarify matters; what we are using NOW is the standard time; the “unadulterated” time.

I had a boss who was adamant that the “norm” was what went on during the summer.

During WWII Britain went on what was called “double summer time” with the clocks advanced two hours.

And according to Wikipedia, the British have almost as much of astruggle with their time as we do with ours.

Actually, I have it on good authority that the original concept for Daylight Saving Time was taken from an ancient Indian chief who cut one end off of his blanket and sewed it on the other end to make it longer. :slight_smile:

It all gets confusing when you try to figure out it if it has any correlation to energy savings.

All I know is that without daylight saving time, there’d be less daylight after work to make home repairs, take a walk, get the kids to softball or soccer games, etc.

Just about everyone I know cringes when we ‘fall back’ to standard time. Standard Time is really an issue because most of the American workforce wraps up their day around 5pm, and commutes home by 6. During Daylight Saving Time, we all get a little more evening light. That’s all good to me.

This book seems like it might have some answers for you.

He’s correct. Over half of the year is spent on the summer-type time, which makes it the “norm”.

What I can’t understand is why, if it’s desireable to have the work day biased more towards dawn rather than dusk, we don’t just make the standard workday 8-4 instead of 9-5. That standard must have started somehow, and for some reason…

I would argue that it is way easier for a single entity (da gub’mint) to mandate a change than it would be for all people to ask their employers to change their schedule. At this point, the “time” (8:00 vs 7:00) that businesses have picked to start to open, etc, has more … cultural momentum… than does the “insolation” (dawn/dusk). I also think that we are moving towards removing the “standard” times. More people are happier with more time at the end of the day.

My major question over in GD was why not get it over with and just have daylight saving time year round? I mean, there are so few of us (percentage wise) who are truly linked to the diurnal light schedule these days.

I’d say it’s a lot easier to adjust the clocks than it is to adjust the “work day”.

My first simulpost! Yeah, what Jayrot said!