Last night something very special happened to Americans, Europeans, and a few other groups of people around the world. We got the hour back that was taken from us in March due to Daylight Savings Time (DTS). Most of us don’t give DTS much thought beyond the fact that it impacts us twice a year causing some of us to be late and sleepy or early and energetic. However, what many people do not know is where DTS came from.
Daylight Savings Time was a concept originally introduced by a New Zealander named George Vernon Hudson who was an entomologist and a shift laborer. Wanting more daylight hours to collect insects, G.V. Hudson proposed a two-hour clock change in 1895. Many New Zealanders were intrigued by the proposal and discussion about Hudson’s idea continued for several years. Oddly enough, Daylight Savings Time would have to wait to be adopted for another 21 years.
On April 30, 1916, the World War 1 Triple Alliance comprised of Italy, Germany, and Austria-Hungary began using daylight savings time. This time, the goal wasn’t to have more time to collect insects, but to conserve coal. Other European powers adopted it shortly thereafter and by 1918 the United States and Russia had as well. Since that time many more countries have both adopted and abolished daylight savings time including China, Japan, Egypt, Argentina, and South Korea. Today, Daylight Savings Time remains in use in the United States, Mexico, New Zealand, Namibia, most of Europe and parts of South America, Australia and the Middle East.