Ep 15: Differing Standards

There was a time when North America lived by the sun. We rose and set with its natural rhythms. This was when life was contained within a few miles. When continents were places of faraway stories. Worlds we spoke of but rarely went.

This is a story of how time changed across North America.

This episode was written and hosted by Natalie Shoemaker.

Credit: United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)

Even though we had mechanized time, engineering our clocks to read us the second of the passing day, we would use a sundial to set our clocks. Staring at shadows cast across a plate sounds like reading tea leaves to us today–an ancient, mystical sort of thing.

There were many small shifts and revolutions in standardizing time in North America in the 1800s, but the big one came on November 18, 1883. That’s when most everyone got on the standard time we know today.

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Further Reading:
Wired, Railroad Time Zones

Jstor, The Adoption of Standard Time by Ian R. Bartky

Inventing Standard Time