It seems common that when March arrives and Daylight Saving Time is brought up, most folks are welcoming to the idea. Having an extra hour of daylight at the end of the day is a promising thought after the chilly, shorter days of winter, but where did the idea of “shifting time” come from? In order to understand the premise of Daylight Saving Time, we must look back, before we look ahead. Daylight Saving Time has been used in the U.S. and in many European countries since World War I, because at that time, there was an effort to conserve fuel needed to produce electric power. Germany and Austria were the first countries to use DST in 1916, with the rationale that, by turning the clocks back and hour, it would minimize the use of artificial lighting to save fuel for the war effort.
So who started this crazy idea of manipulating clocks? On an island country in the South Pacific, you can thank a New Zealand entomologist George Vernon Hudson with coming up with the idea; because he valued his extra-hours of daylight during his leisure time when he was collecting insects. During that time, there was general interest toward the “shifting time”; however, nothing was ever done to implement the idea. Ten years later, in 1905, independently from Hudson, British builder William Willett suggested setting the clocks ahead 20 minutes on each of the four Sundays in April, and switching them back by the same amount on each of the four Sundays in September, a total of eight time switches per year. Unlike George Hudson; however, Willett’s Daylight Saving plan caught the attention of a British Member of Parliament, and he introduced a bill to the House of Commons. The first Daylight Saving Bill was drafted in 1909, presented to Parliament several times, and examined by a select committee; but many, especially farmers, opposed the idea, so the bill was never made into a law.
Fast forward several years after Willett’s death and…(See video for more)