These days, Daylight Saving Time, or DST, is very controversial. Adopted around the world, it requires clocks be set ahead in the spring, and then set back in the fall. The measure is controversial for a few reasons. For one, it can be confusing and many people end up setting their clocks back when they should go ahead, and vice versa. It can also be easy to miss the day when DST takes effect, leaving you an hour behind or ahead of everyone else. But mostly it’s just annoying, especially in the spring when DST takes effect and cuts an hour from everyone’s weekend.
But why was Daylight Saving Time originally introduced? And when did that happen? And how has the world reacted to it over time? Let’s take a look at some interesting facts about DST.
1. Started as a Joke
Daylight Saving Time was first introduced during the early twentieth century, but the idea actually originated much earlier — around the time of the founding of the United States in the late eighteenth century.
The idea originally came from Benjamin Franklin, one of the founding fathers of the United States constitution. In a 1784 essay published in a newspaper Franklin suggested that changing the clocks twice a year could help maximize the amount of sunlight time, allowing people to work longer and be more productive. But he wasn’t all that serious about it; some historians believe it was a satirical point meant to poke fun at the more laid-back approach to work taken by some of America’s European counterparts.