A Quick History of Daylight Savings

Today is Daylight Savings in the US.  That means we turn the clocks forward so that it’s light out later in the day, rather than early in the morning.

When Ben Franklin lived in Paris, he suggested that Parisians wake up earlier (when it’s light out) to save on the cost of candles.  He wrote an essay about this in 1784.


George Vernon Hudson is the person who came up with the idea of actually changing the clocks.  He wrote a paper about it in 1895.


William Willett campaigned for Daylight Savings time in Europe.  He wrote a booklet called “The Waste of Daylight” published in 1907.


During WWI many European nations finally adopted the idea of changing the clocks in order to conserve coal.  The US followed suit in 1918.  The decision was repealed in the US a year later due to unpopularity.  Daylight savings time was reenacted in the US during WWII.  After the war it was left up to each State to decide, until 1986 when Congress mandated Daylight Savings Time in the US once again.

Many thanks to Joanne Ladd for pointing out Benjamin Franklin’s connection to Daylight Sayings Time!

Mama Lisa

This article was posted on Sunday, March 14th, 2010 at 10:20 pm and is filed under Countries & Cultures, Daylight Savings Time, England, Holidays Around the World, USA. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

2 Responses to “A Quick History of Daylight Savings”

  1. Joanne Ladd (Mother Goose) Says:

    my goodness! thankyou for the mention…but here’s a mystery:
    my folks said that after WW2… daylight saving time was never changed back…there’s another hour missing…floating around somewhere…but where?

  2. Lisa Says:

    Strange and curious!

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