The Folly of Daylight Saving

| 11/3/2014 9:00:00 AM

Tags: Time, Clock, History, Ben Franklin, William Willett, Daylight Saving, Renee-Lucie Benoit,

Renee-Lucie BenoitThe recent change of the clocks to an hour earlier got me to thinking, "How in the world did such a thing come about?" As we all know the clock doesn’t mean a whole lot to people on a homestead, ranch or farm. Chickens still need to be fed, cows milked, fields plowed and so forth. None of this is by the clock and certainly the animals don’t care a fig for what time it is. They have one time: feeding time and that’s that.

So what’s the point? I decided in my own mind that daylight saving time. (And by the way it’s daylight SAVING time not daylight SAVINGS time) (really, Renee? does anybody care?) is for city dwellers who have to punch a clock. On the ranch we still get up at the same time. The clock just says something different now.

So I looked into it for my own education and I thought you might be interested in what I found.


Morning light on the hay barn. Photo:

Benjamin Franklin did not originate the idea of moving clocks forward. By the time he was a 78-year-old American envoy in Paris in 1784, the man who espoused the virtues of “early to bed and early to rise” was not practicing what he preached. After being unpleasantly stirred from sleep at 6 a.m. by the summer sun, the founding father penned a satirical essay in which he calculated that Parisians, simply by waking up at dawn, could save the modern-day equivalent of $200 million through “the economy of using sunshine instead of candles.” As a result of this essay, Franklin is often erroneously given the honor of “inventing” daylight saving time, but he only proposed a change in sleep schedules – not the time itself.

11/6/2014 6:57:42 PM

Hi ND, Thanks for your comment! Honestly it hasn't made a hill of beans difference to us. Now we get up "earlier" (the clock says a different time) and we go to bed "earlier". I still amazed when the clock says it's "only" 9:30. I'm getting the same amount done in the same amount of time. Have a nice standard time day yourself! - RB

11/4/2014 8:29:09 AM

Renee-Lucie, I too have always known that Daylight Saving Time was for city folks to have more fun before the sun went down. The original thought of conserving energy can be better spent on sales of newer and more efficient household light bulbs and heating and air conditioning units. Even the city folks that I live next to are not too thrilled about the use of Day Light Saving Time but as you say, it's so ingrained into the government that it will never be over turned again. I was hopeful that when the dates were changed to earlier and later for clock changes, the legislatures would see the folly of Day Light Saving Time and just eliminate it. Yeah, right. Logical thinking seems to be a bit lacking in our government. ***** I didn't realize that the Day Light Saving Time concept went back that far in time. You wouldn't think that just one hour of change would effect a day's routine that much but it does take some getting time to readjust to the earlier time for the routine of life to happen. Ah, well, it's just one of those things that's a good idea but it ain't gonna happen. ***** Have a great standard time day.

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