Germany: The First Country To Adopt Daylight Saving Time


Even though it has only been used consistently in the preceding hundred years, the concept of Daylight Saving Time was first conceived several years before.  History emphasizes that age-old civilizations observed similar means as in the theory of Daylight Saving Time where they would adjust their routine in compliance to the sun, like the Roman water clocks that utilized different scales for different months of the year.

The notion of Daylight Saving Time was originally formulated by Benjamin Franklin in 1784 during the course of his stay in Paris.  He published an article called “An Economical Project for Diminishing the Cost of Light” that intended to cut down the usage of candles by waking up earlier to make use of the morning sunlight.

However, the innovation of Daylight Saving Time was chiefly attributed to William Willett in 1905 when he approached with the opinion of moving forward the clocks in the summer to gain maximum benefit of the daylight in the mornings.  His proposition recommended moving the clocks 20 minutes forward each of four Sundays in April and swapping them back by an equivalent quantity on four Sundays in September.

Willett’s daylight saving proposal drew interest of Robert Pearce who presented a bill to the House of Commons in February 1908.  The first Daylight Saving Bill was composed in 1909 and put forward to the Parliament a number of times and assessed by a select committee.  Nevertheless, owing to the opposition by many, particularly the farmers, the bill never saw light of the day.

Germany first embraced Daylight Saving Time to replace artificial lighting in order to conserve fuel during the World War I at 11:00 pm (23:00) on April 30, 1916.  It was shortly followed by Britain and several other countries including the United States; however, many countries restored back to the standard time post World War I.  The EU’s modification of Daylight Saving Time functions from the last Sunday in March (when the clocks move forward by an hour) through to the last Sunday in October (when the clocks return back by an hour).


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