It’s Time to Spring Forward!

Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

Unless you live in a place that doesn’t observe Daylight Savings Time (DST), you need to move the hands of time tonight.

DST goes into effect tomorrow morning. Since it’s Spring, you need to turn the clocks forward one hour, which moves the morning to an earlier time. Hello, caffeine!

You can thank Germany and Austria for DST. They were the first countries to use the new time in 1916 to make better use of fuel during the war. This was adopted by several other countries just weeks later, including the United Kingdom and France.

DST was rescinded at the end of WWI and was repeated for WWII. Today, more than seventy countries observe DST.

A plan to make the most of seasonal daylight was actually put forth by Benjamin Franklin. Yes, that Benjamin Franklin. One of the Founding Fathers of the United States.

But he meant it as a joke–for Parisians.

He was living in Paris and wrote a letter to the editor of the Journal of Paris. The essay, entitled “An Economical Project for Diminishing the Cost of Light”, called for the people of that city to awaken earlier in order to reduce their need for candles.

Oh, that Ben. What a kidder.

The citizens of Ancient Rome relied on water clocks that used different scales throughout the year in order to follow the solar calendar.

But B. Franklin and Caesar are not credited with the invention of DST. That honor goes to New Zealander George Vernon Hudson and British builder William Willett. Do you thank them or curse them? I think that depends on which way the clock is bouncing–a thank you for the ‘extra’ hour in the Autumn and a curse for losing an hour in the Spring.

We can all be thankful that their particular schedule didn’t go into place. Hudson suggested moving the clocks by two hours, and Willett wanted the clocks to move in twenty-minute increments over four-week periods.

Wow. And you thought one hour twice a year was hard!

Don’t forget so you’re not late tomorrow! Sonja

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