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Daylight Saving Time Fact and Myth - Why do we do this Again?

Brianna Loftin - Tuesday, March 07, 2017


Our office is re-enacting the annual, "so why do we have daylight saving time again?" story-line.  

I jokingly stated that, whoever came up with the idea of DST, obviously didn't have kids. My boss retorted that it was instated to keep kids from having to take the bus in the dark. Of course I added the common misconception, that it was the farmers that wanted DST so that they could increase their hours of working in the fields, way before buses were even imagined. Apparently I was wrong, and farmers were actually deeply opposed to the time change.  

Another fallacy about the origin of DST is that it was brought about by Benjamin Franklin. He was an incredible man and inventor, but also witty, which was his intent when writing his satirical essay about changing sleep schedules so that Parisians could save money by waking at dawn and utilizing sunshine, rather than staying up late burning through candles.  

Like much of our ingenuity, DST was actually brought about to conserve electricity because of wartime measures during WWI. We have continued to implement the time change so that children do not have to go to school in the dark, and of course walk uphill both ways.  

So it turns out that we all had pieces of the story correct, but not the whole picture. Unfortunately this is ubiquitous for much of history, and society needs to do a much better job of remembering, so that we don't repeat past mistakes, even if it is just not repeating the same discussion you had before. 

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