Who Decides On the Time Zones?

Everything in life is dictated by time, and relying on the place you live, your time is completely different than someone someplace else. This hasn’t always been the case. How then was it determined how our time was divided up?

The origins of time zones will be traced to one specific change in transportation–the rise of the railroads. In the late 1800s, when trains grew to become the favorred technique of journey across the US, a problem surfaced. Passengers wanted to catch their train at a specific time of their a part of the country, and trains wanted a set time in order that they wouldn’t crash into every other.

Towns often set their local time by the sun’s movement, so when trains started to chop the journey time between these towns, the time between these areas was vastly different. The railroads had to have totally different arrival and departure occasions for different trains relying on the local time where the train was coming or going. It became a scheduling mess, and a better way was needed.

The railroads have been the first to develop a time zone system in 1883 instead of counting on the federal government. They established four zones throughout the country; the Japanese, Central, Western, and Pacific. These zones are closely aligned with the zones we have now today. It wasn’t until 1918 that these time zones turned official under the Commonplace Time Act. This was also when daylight saving time was established.

A yr after the railroads set their time zones, delegates from 25 countries met in Washington DC to ascertain time zones worldwide and across different countries. They set the standard starting level (the Prime Meridian) on the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, England. With every 15 degrees longitude change, the time modified by one hour. Going east an hour was gained, and by touring west an hour was decreased. The result was 24 time zones that covered the whole world.

The choice of Greenwich because the Prime Meridian was because of its commonity, though different nations had been utilizing other lengthyitude reference points. The observatory had a report of accurate and reliable navigation data used within the shipping trade, and Britain had more ships and shipping visitors than the remainder of the world combined at that time. It wasn’t wholly adopted by each country right away, however. The French used Paris as their Prime Meridian till 1911.

So who finally decides what the time zones are? It’s really decided by individual countries. While many nations adopted the hourly time zones, there have been nonetheless many variations as different nations selected half or quarter-hour deviations from these zones.

Many nations have changed their time zones to fit their needs. In 1949, China’s communist authorities moved the country’s five time zones into one. The time for all the country was based mostly on the time in Beijing, and the reason was to ascertain national unity. There are different oddities with time zones across the world. In the summer, Australia has not only vertical time zones like we are acquainted with however horizontal ones as well, and Russia actually covers twelve time zones but only acknowledges 9 of them.

The present time zones are removed from uniform, and plenty of other strange time zones crop up because of daylight saving time. This would require a completely separate discussion.

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