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How a Bug Collector Got Credit for Daylight Saving Time

By Samuetta Hill Drew

At 2 a.m. on Sunday, Nov. 5, the nation will “fall back” by one hour marking the end of Daylight Saving Time for 2023. Daylight Saving Time has been controversial over the years, from those who wanted it to end, to those who want it to remain yearlong.

Whatever your opinion, I thought it would be fun to begin this short new series with some interesting facts about its origin as we explore some safety measures around Daylight Saving Time in subsequent articles. I used Safety Resources as my reference source.

The topic of changing clocks dates as far back as Benjamin Franklin. He believed in time travel. This famous inventor first discussed changing the clocks in 1784 when he wrote the essay entitled “An Economical Project for Diminishing the Cost of Light” in The Journal of Paris. One of his arguments at the time was that longer daylight hours would save on candle use.

A bug collector is officially credited for the idea of Daylight Saving Time. He was the first to make a serious case. He was an entomologist who did most of his bug hunting at night because he worked at the post office by day. He became frustrated because the sun set early during the summer months. His rationale was that springing the clocks forward would allow more daylight bug collecting as well as other evening activities. He proposed the clocks could switch back in the winter when people, along with bugs, were less likely to be found outdoors.

Daylight Saving Time was formally implemented during WWI in a coordinated effort to minimize coal consumption. Daylight Saving Time was repealed during the peace time between World War I and World War II. It was reinstated again during the second war effort.

There are two U.S. states that do not observe Daylight Saving Time: Arizona and Hawaii.

Countries that observe Daylight Saving Time implement varied implementation dates. For example, Brazil already changed its clocks on the third Saturday in October. Israel usually changes their clocks on the last Sunday in October.

Daylight Saving Time does not begin at the stroke of midnight contrary to popular belief. It actually begins at 2 a.m. This time was selected for a few reasons. One reason is the belief that most individuals will be asleep and will not notice the time change. The other reasons are the idea that most workers with early shifts will still be in bed and most bars and restaurants will be closed.

Hopefully you enjoyed reading these interesting facts about our new safety series where we will share tips on how to Keep an Eye on Safety when Daylight Saving Time – falls back.

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