Daylight Saving Time: it started with an amateur insect hunter

Have you ever heard of George Vernon Hudson? An avid early insect collector from Britain who moved as a teen to New Zealand with his father and soon became a post office clerk.

When he was 28 years old he published a paper that’s credited as being the first formal proposal for DST. His motivation? To give him more daylight time after work to hunt for insects! (I like this guy already!)

I have to wonder what George would have done if he had access to modern LED flashlight tech. Would we still have DST?

So when you wake up tomorrow, and you’re living in a DST region, think of George. Who incidentally, went on to a magnificent career in entomology.

What are you planning to do with your extra hour of twilight?


Given the disruption to my sleep schedule caused by DST, I dislike this guy already. ;-)


I’ll be thinking of George alright!
At least now I’m not necessarily tied to a clock at this point in my life, so my thoughts can be softer.


What am I planning for the extra hour of twilight? Probably napping to recover from the extra hour of darkness added and hour of sleep lost. We used to have DST starting in April which at least was spring on the calendar and usually in our weather. DST in early March? Not the best idea in my opinion.


Agreed. DST only makes sense when the daylight is noticeably longer. Extending it so far into the fall that kids are going to the school bus stop before dawn is a bad idea. This is one of the things I like about the tropics – not enough yearly variation in day length to make DST worthwhile, so those countries keep Standard Time year-round.

Also, it’s pretty hard to think of Standard Time as “standard” when it is less than half the year.


I hate him and his Disrupted Sleep Time. I also prefer noon in the middle of the day.


Honestly, I’ve been able to gain an hour of sleep which might sound a bit surprising. My body never adjusted last time I suppose.

Woah, woah, woah hate is a strong word. How could you hate someone who had such love for insects? /s

Well, if you just keep your body on Daylight Saving Time year-round, it won’t be a disruption anymore. [Plays reveille on a bugle]


Noon would not be in the middle of the day


My vote is in favor of having noon in the middle of the day and midnight in the middle of the night.

Why have daylight time all year round, with 1:00 PM being the time of the sun’s zenith? If we’re going to stop changing the clocks twice per year, why not standard time instead? Keep noon approximately in the middle of the day.


You’re making too much sense! You must stop making sense immediately!! This is 21st century America.


I agree with you. A few years ago, California had a ballot initiative about year-round daylight saving time, and I thought, Arizona does just fine with year-round standard time. So do tropical countries.


I grew up in Hawaii, which doesn’t honor daylight savings time . My first “fall back” at college in Massachussetts was brutal.


yeah, DST is awful. For early risers, you can wake up an hour early any time you want, and do your daylight thing before work. DST is just forcing an earlier schedule on everyone else for literally no reason whatsoever. It’s tied up in antiquated morals that hold waking up earlier relative to the sun is better, which is of course not true at all. People have really diverse chronotypes and what is healthy and productive for each person varies a lot. So it’s better to just make noon the center of the day and let people sort it out from that.

Schools also start way too early but that’s a whole other issue


Arizona skips DST also. Makes sense in the hot (and getting hotter) desert; extra daylight late in the day isn’t necessarily a plus.

It is remarkable how just an hour change in time-of-day can mess you up for a few days as you adapt to a slightly-shifted circadian rhythm. Of course, having to be at a job/school at a particular hour is the problem and if I were retired I might not care as much.


George Vernon Hudson seems a fine accomplished guy indeed. However, I used a large chunk of that hour trying to navigate the contorted menu needed to set the clock in my car. That problem can readily be resolved, though, by my buying a new car a mere twice per year. ;) ;)


I don’t like changing the time but I prefer having the light in the morning because that allows me to maintain a birding schedule before my responsibilities start for the day.

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I am fully aware that waking myself up early for birding every day is destroying my brain but I think it’s worth it. :p

Count me in with another vote for year-round standard time. I will happily give up the “extra” hour of sleep in autumn to avoid spending three days adjusting in spring.

(There’s also not going to be a whole lot of daylight to save around here for a couple of days, thanks to the not-quite-a-blizzard going on.) :cold_face: