Daylight Saving Time — Who started it? Who needs it? One Rhode Island legislator thinks it’s time to abandon the system. According to this WPRI report,
State Rep. Blake Filippi has submitted a piece of legislation that would have Rhode Island join the Atlantic Time Zone if and when Massachusetts does the same.
Filippi, R-Block Island, submitted the same bill last year, when he argued eliminating DST — the process of changing clocks forward or back by an hour to make better use of daylight — would have positive impacts on public health. The bill was held for further study and never made it out of committee.
(“Held for further study.” is the procedural equivalent of “We’re taking the cat to live on a farm in the country.”)
Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker has tasked a committee with studying the economic impacts of the issue. A report is expected at the end of this month.
Last year the New York Times answered some questions about the origins of DST — it’s not about farming.
The idea was originally rooted in saving candle wax, not electricity.
Historians have traced the notion back to Benjamin Franklin, who realized he was sleeping through some daylight hours while visiting Paris in the 18th century. He suggested French officials shoot cannons at sunrise to jolt people out of bed, optimizing the amount of hours they spent awake when it’s light out. That way, they could cut down on using candles to light their homes while awake, Mr. Prerau said.
Worst idea that man ever had. I bet the French thought he was joking.
(This clock hangs in the RISD Library.)