Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Time Zones On Western Wednesday...!

Believe it or not, the separate time zones did not come from hard work on the part of the government, but rather from private enterprise!

Big business, in the form of railroads, created the first semi official time zones in the U.S. because it was a more effective way of doing business! I, for one, was unaware of this. Here is a case of folks taking matters into their own hands, after waiting for the PTB to come up with a plan. Makes sense to me!

Nov 18, 1883:
Railroads create the first time zones
At exactly noon on this day, American and Canadian railroads begin using four continental time zones to end the confusion of dealing with thousands of local times. The bold move was emblematic of the power shared by the railroad companies.

The need for continental time zones stemmed directly from the problems of moving passengers and freight over the thousands of miles of rail line that covered North America by the 1880s. Since human beings had first begun keeping track of time, they set their clocks to the local movement of the sun. Even as late as the 1880s, most towns in the U.S. had their own local time, generally based on "high noon," or the time when the sun was at its highest point in the sky. As railroads began to shrink the travel time between cities from days or months to mere hours, however, these local times became a scheduling nightmare. Railroad timetables in major cities listed dozens of different arrival and departure times for the same train, each linked to a different local time zone.

Efficient rail transportation demanded a more uniform time-keeping system. Rather than turning to the federal governments of the United States and Canada to create a North American system of time zones, the powerful railroad companies took it upon themselves to create a new time code system. The companies agreed to divide the continent into four time zones; the dividing lines adopted were very close to the ones we still use today.

Most Americans and Canadians quickly embraced their new time zones, since railroads were often their lifeblood and main link with the rest of the world. However, it was not until 1918 that Congress officially adopted the railroad time zones and put them under the supervision of the Interstate Commerce Commission.

To me, this bit of information just proves that instead of waiting for the government to act on our behalf, we should be making some movement toward being more self reliant and solving our own problems. Working together, we could do much more than if we stand around waiting for Uncle Sugar to lend a hand! Recent disasters have shown just how delayed help from government agencies can be!

Coffee in the kitchen again today. The rain is still in the forecast, so the patio is going to be wet!


Chickenmom said...

"Uncle Sugar" - love it, Mr. Hermit!
Washington still can't govern themselves very well either. Good post this morning. Heat wave here and we could sure use some rain.

linda m said...

Great post this morning - very informative. I love the "Uncle Sugar" as it is so appropriate. People shouldn't be so reliant on the government to fix "their" problems as the government can't seem to fix even their own. Very hot and humid here - 77 degrees at 5:00AM.

Rob said...

Big business had a problem & they fixed it, the fix was a good one so it stayed.

Big business is there to make money (than & now). The govt is traditionally there to help all the people as a group (roads, common currency, national defense).

JO said...

Great post!. I never new of this either. And thanks to you I now know.

So far the sun is shining but don't know how long that will last. If it can hold out until noon I will have my new awning installed today. Lost the screen room in the night before blast of rain.

Sixbears said...

Good one. New one on me. I knew every town use to have its own time, but had no idea the railroads formed the zones.

When we were travelling on foot and horse, it didn't matter.

HermitJim said...

Hey Phyllis...
Glad that you liked the play on words!

I guess we expect too much from the government sometimes.

Thanks for coming over this morning!

Hey Linda...
We've been getting some rain nearly every day for 2 or 3 days now. That means the 'skeeters won't be far behind!

Thanks for dropping in today!

Hey Rob...
Funny how hitting business in the pocket book can bring on some good changes.

Hopefully, no one will try and improve the time zones.

Thanks for coming over!

Hey Jo...
I knew you lost the screen room and was sorry to hear that!

Still, I guess it could have been worse!

Thanks, sweetie, for the visit today!

Hey Sixbears...
Sort of surprised me as well! Learn something new every day!

Thanks for coming by this morning!

Mamahen said...

Great post! Full of info n loved the "uncle sugar" line... Hot n muggy here again today so a cool kitchen chat sounds nice. Thanks for the invite :))