Standard time was first used by British railways on December 11, 1847, when they switched from local mean time to Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). Almost all of Great Britain's public clocks were using GMT by 1855.
Before 1883, local mean time was used in all of North America. This meant there were many different local times. This caused problems for train schedules. Sandford Fleming, a Canadian, proposed standard time at a meeting of the Royal Canadian Institute on February 8, 1879. The owners of the major railroads met in Chicago to make the Standard Time System. Most states began using the system soon after the railroads. The U.S. government officially began using the system almost fifty years later.
Some people do not like standard time (and daylight saving time). Some people do not like it because they do not trust in government. Others believe that it disturbs circadian rhythms. Others simply like traditional, natural markers of time, like sunsets, noon and sunrise.
- "Standard time began with the railroads".
For millennia, people have measured time based on the position of the sun.
- Ian R. Bartky (Jan 1989). "The adoption of standard time". Technology and Culture 30 (1): 25-56. http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0040-165X%28198901%2930%3A1%3C25%3ATAOST%3E2.0.CO%3B2-X.
- Eviatar Zerubavel (1982-07). "The standardization of time: a sociohistorical perspective". The American Journal of Sociology 88 (1): 1-23. http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0002-9602%28198207%2988%3A1%3C1%3ATSOTAS%3E2.0.CO%3B2-H.