It started as a joke

Spring ? Back

Spring ? Forward

Today on High Street people are a little testy.  We were robbed of an hour of sleep last night.

Some people think Ben Franklin is responsible for the concept of Daylight Saving Time but, it turns out, he was just kidding.

Back in 1784, Franklin was living in Paris and wrote a satirical piece explaining that Parisians could save a lot of money on candles if they woke up before noon. Here’s a link to Franklin’s article.  As he pointed out, people were squandering a large part of the day when the sun provided light for free.

Franklin presented a four-part solution to force everyone out of bed at sunrise: 1) taxing shutters, 2) placing limits on candle purchases 3) imposing a curfew, and 4) waking up sluggards by ringing church bells and if more was needed — firing off cannons at dawn on every street.

It should be noted that Franklin did not say we should turn our clocks forward an hour. And he didn’t advocate for anyone waking up before dawn. He simply suggested that people should be awakened at dawn with cannon fire, if necessary.

Of course Franklin was just kidding.  But 230 years after the fact, it seems that the joke is on us.  Finally, this song from the most famous Manx trio makes sense.

Contributed by The Hays

Gallery | This entry was posted in History and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to It started as a joke

  1. mineralpoint says:

    Reblogged this on High Street Beat and commented:

    Here’s our attempt at a re-post. A little history about the joke now known as Daylight Saving Time.

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