Times are changing

 

November 2, 2017



Time to change, the clocks that is. November 5 is the time to change the clocks back again. You have an extra hour to rest on Sunday.

The history of the time change was first used in Canada in 1908. Little known fact that a few hundred Canadians on July 1, 1908, the residents of Port Arthur, Ontario, today’s Thunder Bay, turned their clocks forward by 1 hour to start the world’s first DST (Daylight Saving Time) period.

The idea did not catch on globally until Germany introduced DST in 1916. If you think DST is a good idea, thank New Zealand Scientist George Vernon Hudson and British builder William Willett. In 1895, Hudson presented a paper to the Wellington Philosophical Society, proposing a 2-hour shift forward in October and a 2-hour shift back in March. There was interest in the idea, but was never followed through. In 1905, independently from Hudson, British builder William Willett suggested setting the clocks ahead 20 minutes on each of the 4 Sundays in April, and switching them back by the same amount on each of the 4 Sundays in September, a total of 8 time switches per year. May sources also credit Benjamin Franklin with being the first to suggest seasonal time change. In a letter to the editor of the Journal of Paris, which was entitled “ An Economical Project for Diminishing the Cost of Light,” Franklin simply suggested that Parisians could economize candle usage by getting people out of bed earlier in the morning. The humor is Franklin meant it as a joke.


Daylight Saving Time is now used in over 70 countries worldwide and affects over 1 billion people every year. The beginning and end dates vary from one country to another.

 

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