[tz] uniform time in Switzerland in second half of 19th century

Paul Eggert eggert at cs.ucla.edu
Tue Sep 10 21:57:01 UTC 2013

Thanks, that summary agrees with the information
I've gleaned: for Zurich Shanks is wrong, and so
are the Swiss astrology books.

It seems pretty clear that if you asked
someone for the time in (say) Zurich in 1855,
the answer you'd get would depend on who you were
talking to.  Legally speaking the local time might
have been one thing, but the telegraph and railway
time another.  But even with that in mind,
the transitions in Shanks and in the tz database
and in the Swiss astrology books all seem to
disagree with any reasonable interpretation of
"civil time in Zurich".  What a mess, eh?

For astrological applications I expect you'd want to
know what times the midwives and doctors kept -- that
should be more important than railway time per se
(not too many babies were born in railway stations....).
It may be difficult, though, to find out this info
for Zurich, much less for all Switzerland.

makes it appear that the 1894 transition was
not a smooth one either -- I suspect that each
canton or locality had to make the legal change
on its own, and they didn't change all at the same time,
and in that sense the 1894 transition datum
is dubious too.

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