What Time is it Again?

One hundred years ago today, Congress decided that it was time to standardize… time. The problem they were trying to solve was that each town set their own time. That was fine when everyone was a horse ride away, but trains were making things difficult. With each station essentially in their own time zone, no one knew what time the train arrived or, more importantly, left. All time was local, but if your watch was set for the next town over, you might not realize it was 15 minutes slow.

So Congress fixed it! And also introduced this really cool idea from they had gotten from Europe during World War I called Daylight Savings Time. People, farmers in particular, hated it so much it only lasted a year. Really, they should have learned their lesson because it was repealed after being implemented during the war by a veto override. It was that unpopular.

Yeah, that whole thing about the farmers being the reason for DST was from the Boston Chamber of Commerce and Lincon Filene of Filene’s Basement, because people spend more money if it is still daylight after work.

Don’t worry! The government brought it back again, and year-round, as War Time for World War II. And with that everything was perfect and wonderful and we never had an issue with time again. No one was at all bothered that each state could start DST when they wanted. Nope.

If you would like to read more about the weirdness that is standardizing time, especially daylight savings, Seize the Daylight by David Prerau is a good place to start.


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