Daylight Saving Time: Don’t Blame it on Benjamin Franklin
Posted by infinitygoods on November 4, 2007
Did you remember to change your clocks? If you are a U.S. resident in any state other than Arizona and Hawaii, it’s time to fall back 1 hour because of somebody’s stupid idea of daylight-saving time.
I already can hear some of you telling me it was Benjamin Franklin’s idea, one of our Founding Fathers and one of history’s greatest men.
And I answer, not true.
Ben Franklin wrote an anonymous spoof, a satire, a parody, a travesty for the entertainment of the editors of the Journal de Paris and mutual high-society, party-going Parisian friends in 1784.
He had them rolling on the floor laughing when he wrote things like Paris should put guards at every candle shop to prevent Parisians from buying too many candles.
“Let the same salutary operation of police be made use of, … that is, 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.”
Remember too that Paris is and was in those days too, the City of Lights. There are more lights in Paris on any given day than there are in most U.S. cities during the Christmas season.
They kept right on laughing when Franklin told them Paris should tax one gold Louis coin for each window blocking the sun’s light.
“Let a tax be laid of a louis per window, on every window that is provided with shutters to keep out the light of the sun.”
Their eyes must have teared up by so much laughter when the great scientist and inventor wrote that he had just discovered that the sun rose as early as 6 a.m. and not only does it rise that early, but it also gives off light that early. He even consulted his almanac to verify the truth of this concept. Of course you do remember that Franklin himself wrote that almanac under the pseudonym Richard Saunders (Poor Richard).
“I looked at my watch, which goes very well, and found that it was but six o’clock; and still thinking it something extraordinary that the sun should rise so early, I looked into the almanac, where I found it to be the hour given for his rising on that day. I looked forward, too, and found he was to rise still earlier every day till towards the end of June; and that at no time in the year he retarded his rising so long as till eight o’clock. Your readers, who with me have never seen any signs of sunshine before noon, and seldom regard the astronomical part of the almanac, will be as much astonished as I was, when they hear of his rising so early; and especially when I assure them, that he gives light as soon as he rises. I am convinced of this. I am certain of my fact. One cannot be more certain of any fact. I saw it with my own eyes. And, having repeated this observation the three following mornings, I found always precisely the same result.”
The muscles in their faces must have ached from so much laughter and you can read for yourself the entire article in English if you still believe the hogwash we are fed by politicians each year.
Here’s the link, http://webexhibits.org/daylightsaving/franklin3.html
Ben Franklin was much too smart to seriously want the entire country and the world to go through the stupidity of changing clocks one hour twice a year.
Daylight Saving Time is a nuisance at best and a public danger since traffic accident rates rise sharply each time we are forced by governments to fiddle with our clocks.
Don’t blame Benjamin Franklin for Daylight Saving Time. He laughed at the idea.
- Want to know why I’m participating in both? Click here.