I had hoped for cooler days by the time this month’s newsletter was ready for publication and so far we have enjoyed a few cooler mornings. I also briefly mentioned the concept of Daylight Saving Time and began doing a little research into its concept and origin. It seems that the concept of adjusting the clock to summer daylight was first proposed by New Zealand entomologist George Hudson. George’s shift work job gave him leisure time and lead him to value after work daylight hours to collect insects. He first proposed the concept of a two hour time shift to the Wellington Philosophical Society in 1895. Englishman William Willett took up the cause in 1905 and Robert Pearce proposed it to the British House of Commons in 1908.
Our Canadian neighbors were the first to adopt the idea in 1908 in the city of Port Arthur, Ontario. The U.S did not adopt the concept until 1918 and it was not widely accepted until World War II. The big push to adopt Daylight Saving Time came during the energy crisis of the 70s. Wars and energy savings, the promotion of outdoor activities, health benefits, even the reduction of crime and traffic accidents are listed as benefits. On the other side, altering of schedules, loss of sleep and work routines are reasons some oppose the manipulation of the clock.
Either way the sun still rises and sets at intervals according to the season and the earth’s position around the sun and tilt on its axis. (I think we discussed this previously) I understand there is political wrangling afoot to make Daylight Saving Time observed year round, while others are drawing up legislation to abolish it all together. I think the music group Chicago got it right in 1969 with the song Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is? I find myself asking that question every spring and fall.