The History of Time Zones

A transatlantic crossing is fraught with time changes.  When you look it we actually lose several hours during the length of the cruise. Given the importance of time when traveling eastbound on a cruise ship, it seems appropriate to take a few minutes to share what we learned about time in general.

Standard time is the time of a town, region or country that is established by law or general usage as civil time. The concept of standard time was adopted in the late 19th century in an attempt to end the confusion that was caused by each community’s use of its own solar time, which became increasingly necessary with the development of rapid railway systems and the consequent confusion of schedules that used scores of different local times kept in separate communities.

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The need for standard time was felt most particularly in the United States and Canada. Sir Sandford Fleming, a Canadian railway planner and engineer, outlined a plan for worldwide standard time in the late 1870’s. Following this initiative, in 1884, delegates from 27nations met in Washington, D.C. for the Meridian Conference and agreed on the system which we use now.

The present system employs 24 standard meridians or longitude (lines running from the North Pole to the South Pole) 15 degrees apart, starting with the prime meridian through Greenwich, England.  These meridians are theoretically the centers of 24 standard time zones. In practice the zones have in many cases been subdivided or altered in shape for the convenience of their inhabitants.

REMAINDER

PLEASE BE AWARE THAT AT 2:00 AM

FRIDAY NIGHT/SATURDAY MORNING

THE CLOCKS WILL BE SET FORWARD 1 HOUR

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