A day in the life

Daylight Savings Time

Spring Forward

Daylight Savings Time. The idea of changing the clocks forward and backward every 6 months, is something I dislike. Springtime is time to set them an hour ahead. I know the idea is to have more daylight at the end of the day, but don’t really like it anyway. I grew up thinking that the reason for daylight savings time and having more light hours at the end of the day was so farmers had more time to bring in the crops. It was later that I was told it was to conserve energy. I think this was during the Jimmy Carter era when the whole alternative energy became a thing. I decided to look into it and see if my assumptions were anywhere close.

Don’t Blame Franklin

There is a story going around that Benjamin Franklin invented daylight savings time. Not really true. He did write an essay for the Journal de Paris in 1784. It was satire. He suggested that in order to save money on candle wax and tallow, Parisians could wake up earlier in the day. Franklin had a whole list of things that could be done to help including firing cannons at daybreak to wake up the sleeping.

Blame George Hudson or William Willet

The true culprit was self-interest. An entomologist George Hudson living in new Zealand proposed daylight savings time in 1895. He did shift work which gave him time after work to collect insects. He valued those after-work daylight hours. Hudson presented a paper to the Wellington Philosophical Society that suggested a two-hour daylight-saving shift. He got considerable interest and, again in 1898, he published another paper on the subject. William Willett, an English builder, is also credited with the idea of daylight savings time. Enjoying a pre-breakfast ride, it occurred to him how many Londoners slept through much of a summer day. Being a golfer, Willett also did not want to cut his game short because of the sun going down. His solution? Turn the clock ahead during the summer months. Again considerable interest was generated but Parliament failed to advance the bill into practice.

Imagine telling a dairy cow used to being milked at 5 a.m. that their milking time needs to move back an hour before the milk truck is coming to do a pickup.

Admin. “Farmers Are Not to Blame for Daylight Saving Time.” Simply Grazin’, 5 Nov. 2020, simplygrazin.com/2020/11/01/farmers-are-not-to-blame-for-daylight-saving-time.

Canada Was The First

It was Canada that first implemented daylight savings time. This was in 1908 and most other countries did not follow suit until World War I as a way to conserve coal. After the war, though, many countries including the US abandoned daylight savings time. World War II, however, changed that and Daylight Savings time became the norm. It wasn’t until the 1970s during the Energy Crisis did Day Light Savings time in the US became standard.

Contrary to what I learned, Farmers were not really in favor of Daylight Savings time. That is a myth. It does not help farmers. Turns out that the loss of the morning hour makes it difficult to get crops to market and livestock do not adjust well to schedule changes. If you own a pet you know that is true when your dog or cat is demanding breakfast.

Who Likes/Dislikes It

The people who like it the most are the retailers, the more daylight hours, the more likely you are to shop. The biggest supporter of Daylight Savings time is the Chamber of Commerce. Sports teams also like it. Again, more daylight to play the game. More daylight more golf, little league games, big sports teams so and so forth.

The people who don’t like it? Everyone else. A quick look at my social media pages confirms that. My feeds are filled with people complaining about getting up, animals waking them up, sending their kids to school in the dark. I agree. I don’t mind the time change until we change it again. I think we should just pick a time and stick to it. Daylight savings time has not saved anything.

1918 – Congress established time zones and approved daylight saving time.