Monday, January 18, 2010
A Mr. Billy Bulova from Birmingham Alabama asks...
"Dear Mr. Knowitall, Who invented Daylight Savings Time?"
'Dear Billy, Ben Franklin did!'
In 1784, Ben wrote an essay suggesting that setting the clocks ahead in the Spring, and behind in the Fall would be wise because it would save expensive candles.
His idea wasn't given much thought until 1907. Thats when a British builder named William Willett was riding through the countryside, and noticed that in spite of the full daylight, all of the cottages curtains were drawn shut! It was a waste of daylight he thought, and wrote a paper advocating setting the clocks ahead in April, and back in October. This idea was Boo-Hooed as well, but the advent of WWI brought a dire need to conserve coal, so the British Summer Time act was passed in 1916. It set the time ahead one hour in the Spring, and back one hour in the Fall.
The USA followed suit in 1918, but the act was so unpopular that it was repealed in 1919. It was reinstated during WWII, and some states kept it, and some didn't!
The transportation industry led by the Greyhound Bus Co. lobbied very hard to remedy the situation, and finally in 1966 Congress passed the Uniform Time Act. It did NOT make DST mandatory, but it said that individual states needed to observe it on an individual basis. Daylight Saving Time is now observed in about 70 countries around the world!
PS...It's Daylight Saving Time! Singular..Not plural!
We are saving Daylight.
Good Question Billy.
Mr. Knowital grows weary...