[tz] time zone history for the Cook Islands - Christmas Day Act 1899

Michael H Deckers michael.h.deckers at googlemail.com
Thu Mar 25 12:24:49 UTC 2021

    On 2021-03-24 20:13, Alan Mintz wrote:
> It may be more complicated than that. The years around 1900 looks like a
> busy time in the history of the Cook Islands – 15 islands spread over 2.2
> million sq km (850,000 sq mi) of ocean, 8.5 degrees of longitude and 13
> degrees of latitude – which may not have all been in sync. More than one
> time zone might be necessary to correctly reflect the ground truth, though
> I recognize it's out of the primary scope of tzdb. If a South Pacific
> history buff was interested in a project ...:)

    Well, the text at
    seems to be a good introduction to the early history, when the London
    Missionary Society worked against the French influence for the 
    as a British protectorate. They probably have used time of day as
    measured with sundials, local apparent or mean solar time with an
    uncertainty of a few minutes.

    More precise time, as needed for the operation of a commercial port
    or airport, requires either local astronomical transit observations
    of stars or else time signals obtained via telegraphy or radio; in
    the latter case, a time zone offset must be chosen, and one has
    been fixed in the 1952 legislation. And there certainly has been a
    transition period until all the inhabited islands had electricity.

    Michael Deckers.

More information about the tz mailing list