Daylight Saved is a Penny Earned

Feeling a bit groggy this week?

Wondering who came up with this idea of Daylight Saving anyway?

The History of Daylight Saving goes all the way back to a satirical letter Benjamin Franklin wrote to a French Journal in 1784.

Benjamin Franklin, who enjoyed staying up until the wee hours of the night, wrote to the people of Paris (who apparently also loved the nightlife), “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 [The Sun] rising so early.”

Franklin went on to talk about his surprise when, one morning, he woke up earlier than usual.

“I considered that, if I had not been awakened so early in the morning, I should have slept six hours longer by the light of the sun, and in exchange have lived six hours the following night by candle-light; and, the latter being a much more expensive light than the former..(read the full letter)

Examining this expense in detail, Franklin drew up some calculations regarding how much the city of Paris could save if they were able to use more natural light.

Some of his suggestions were obvious comedy, like proposing a tax on houses whose windows didn’t let in the light. Or trying to force people to utilize natural light by posting guards outside candle shops to make sure no one purchases “more than one pound of candles per week.”

Still, Franklin’s assessment that, “All the difficulty will be in the first two or three days,” seems to be, in both the Spring Ahead and the Fall Back, so…yawn…true.

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