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The History Of Daylight Savings Time

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Daylight Savings Time is something that we're all used to in Sacramento, in fact, most of us probably don't give it a second thought.

However, if you stop to think about it, you may have wondered why is it that we still use this seemingly antiquated system when we have such advanced technologies that could adapt between time zones easily.

Apparently, the original idea for Daylight Savings Time can be traced back to Ben Franklin who proposed the idea in 1784 as a way to conserve more candles—ideally being that if waking hours aligned with sunny hours, there would be less of a need to use them.

However, the idea doesn't just end there. It appears that Franklin may have had more of an agenda than simply just preserving candles.

In a response to the expanding nightlife lifestyle of Parisians at the time due to the purposeful placement of city guards and lighted lanterns in the streets of Paris, Franklin wrote:

"First... Let a tax be laid of a louis [gold coin] per window, on every window that is provided with shutters to keep out the light of the sun. Second … Let guards be placed in the shops of the wax and tallow chandlers, and no family be permitted to be supplied with more than one pound of candles per week. Third... Let guards also be posted to stop all the coaches, etc. that would pass the streets after sunset, except those of physicians, surgeons, and midwives. Fourth... Every morning, as soon as the sun rises, let all the bells in every church be set ringing; and if that is not sufficient? Let cannon be fired in every street, to wake the sluggards effectually, and make them open their eyes to see their true interest."

From this quote, we can gather that Franklin was actually using daylight savings time as a way to maximize efficiency for workers. Franklin's vision of society was one where nightlife wasn't prominent in any way and saw the betterment of society through hard work and advancement.

Currently, the retailing, sports, and tourism industries all support Daylight Savings Time, while agricultural and evening-entertainment interests don't support it. [1]

Some have even coined the term "Daylight Slaving Time," as a nod to the fact that Daylight Savings Time primarily benefits a work-centric society.

However, in the meantime, it seems as if it's here to stay.

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