Daylight Savings Time, History, and Why?


By Anjeli Kovacs.

The main purpose of Daylight Savings Time (DST) is to make more use of daylight. In different countries there are different change dates. For example, in 2016, the UK changed their time on march 27th, and in Canada, 2016, DST started March 13th. Saskatchewan does not use DST, and there doesn’t seem to be a reason to this. And if you live near the equator, the day and night are nearly the same length (12 hours). So there is no real use for DST.


DST was first proposed by a New Zealand entomologist, George Hudson, whose shift-work job, a job where you work shifts to provide service 24/7, gave him leisure time to collect insects, which led him to being outside more. In 1895, he presented a paper to the Wellington Philosophical Society proposing a two-hour daylight-saving shift, which Christchurch, a city in New Zealand, took considerable interest in. So he followed up in a 1898 paper, but he was never able to make DST a law. However, William Frost, mayor of Orillia, Ontario, used DST during his time in office, 1911-1912, and this was the first ever use of DST.

Germany and its allies in World War I, Austria-Hungary, were the first to use DST as a way to conserve coal during the war. This started on April 30, 1916. Britain and most of its allies and many European countries soon, too, started using DST. Russia waited till the next year and the United States started to use it in 1918. After the war, many countries stopped using DST, and there were only a few still using it, such as Canada, the UK, France and Ireland, for example.

The reasons DST was initially used are no longer relevant, so the following question remains: Is Daylight Savings Time still needed?


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