Daylight Savings Time – let’s get rid of it!

Front room collection
Front room collection

We call it Daylight Saving Time (DST), the British call it “British Summer Time” and “summertime” in other areas. It is the practice of advancing clocks during summer months so that evening daylight lasts longer while sacrificing normal sunrise times. Typically, regions that use daylight saving time adjust clocks forward one hour close to the start of spring and adjust them backward in the autumn to standard time. We have a little expression, “Spring ahead, Fall behind” to make it easy to remember what to do twice a year. In Canada, it is the second Sunday in March and the first Sunday in November.

Mauthe buffet clock
Mauthe buffet clock

The idea was proposed by George Hudson in 1885 and first implemented by the Austrian Empire in 1916. Some countries do not recognize it in all regions. In Canada, for example, most of Saskatchewan does not change clocks spring and fall, it technically observes DST year round. Parts of Nunavut remain on Eastern Standard Time throughout the year. In the USA (which has 11 time zones) most areas observe DST with the exception of Arizona and Hawaii. Florida has recently applied to get rid of DST.

I advocate a move to “permanent daylight saving time” that is, staying on summer hours all year with no time shifts

DST clock shifts sometimes complicate timekeeping and can disrupt travel, billing, record keeping, medical devices, heavy equipment, and sleep patterns. Computer software often adjusts clocks. Radio controlled clocks adjust the time automatically which is very convenient. We have two modern Sony clocks in our home which do exactly that.

My only tall-case clcok, Ridgeway, Hamilton Country
My only tall-case clock, Ridgeway, Hamilton Country

But for the 35 clocks that I have running at any given time, that means making a manual adjustment twice a year which is time-consuming and an unnecessary hassle.

There is a constant dispute about the benefits and drawbacks. Proponents say that it conserves energy and has a psychological benefit of extending the daylight hours. Opponents say that the energy arguments are inconclusive. People must remember to change their clocks which is a time-consuming exercise, particularly for antique and vintage mechanical clocks that cannot be moved backward safely.

For most of my clocks I either simply let them complete their cycle, stop them and when the correct time shows on the clock, I start them up. There is less wear and tear on the movement and I think my clocks are happier for it.

But why go through this nonsense; let’s just get rid of DST! I advocate a move to “permanent daylight saving time” that is, staying on summer hours all year with no time shifts. My clocks will appreciate it and yours will too!

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