Reason for DST change in US

seismo!nbires!vianet!devine seismo!nbires!vianet!devine
Thu Apr 9 00:32:10 UTC 1987

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Date: Wed, 8 Apr 87 10:17:34 est
From: hadron!jsdy (Joseph S. D. Yao)
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To: nbires!vianet!devine
Subject: Re:  Reason for DST change in US
Cc: elsie!tz

Joe Yao writes:
> (*sigh*)  That may have been a contribution (nopunintended) to DST
> being finally implemented.  I know the Farmers' lobby was agin' it.
> However, Ben Franklin thought up the idea during one of his ...
> ummm ... voyages ("junkets" is not used in this area ;-)) to Paris.
> That was a few years before Clorox and Charcoal Briquettes.
> I do notice, however, that your article did not claim that it was
> solely done at the behest of Halstead, nor solely for his benefit.
> I seem to vaguely recall some other considerations.  And that was
> definitely not the consideration for its adoption during the War(s),
> which was probably what inspired Halstead et al. later on.

  You misunderstand.  I said that the Halstead proposal was just for
moving the start of US's DST from the last Sunday in April to the first.
I did not write that Halstead was responsible for the invention of the
DST idea.  His lobbying of Congress occurred about 4 years ago.

Here's a thumbnail sketch of how DST came to be:

  Benjamin Franklin's suggestion for DST was during his tenure as the
US ambassador to France (not some junket).  His suggestion was ignored.
Probably because of the confusion that would have been added to the
non-standard timezones then used.  However, the true inspiration for DST
might have come from a more modern source.  An Englishman, William Willet,
published a pamphlet in 1907 that called for a seasonal variation in much
the same way that Franklin had proposed over a hundred years before him.

  The first real use of DST came about because of the demands of war.
Germany used it during WW I to save electricity.  The UK soon followed and
many countries did likewise.  Most called it "summer time" or "war time".
After WW I was over, DST was not observed uniformly across the US because
Congress stopped the national observance but many localities kept it anyway.

Bob Devine

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