It’s thought that the first idea to make the most of daylight in summer was introduced by an astronomer named George Vernon Hudson, back in 1895. He proposed a two-hour daylight saving change to the Wellington Philosophical Society.
Although Hudson’s idea was rejected, the notion of daylight saving didn’t go away. In 1905, a British man named William Willett published a leaflet that encouraged people to make the most of early morning sunlight. He suggested bringing the clocks forward in stages on each Sunday in April, and then turning them back during September.
Willett’s proposal was drafted into a daylight saving bill in 1909, yet it was met with fierce opposition, which prevented it from becoming law. However, during 1916, in the midst of the first world war, Germany took up the idea of daylight saving time to reduce fuel consumption, and the UK quickly followed suit.
Despite the passing of The Summer Time Act of 1916, changing the hour has proved controversial over the last 100 years. Some people argue that it doesn’t reduce energy consumption, and darker mornings can increase the risk of accidents. Others argue, however, that daylight saving brings with it many economic benefits.
There has been wide variation on how the time has changed, and in some years it has been adjusted by anything from 20 minutes up to two hours. In 1940, the clocks didn’t even go back at the end of summer. However, the system in place today has remained the same since 1972.
Another implication of the hour change is having to adjust clocks and watches. Although many modern devices do this automatically, if you own a traditional timepiece this still needs twice-yearly attention.
If you need to ensure your watch is keeping to time, or you want to splash out on a new timepiece, contact H.S. Johnson for advice and inspiration.