The Ottawa Citizen published an interesting article this week that looked back on a bizarre scheme by an English homebuilder, William Willett. Willett wanted to create daylight-saving time back in the early 1900s. He lobbied the English government to adopt his time changing ideas and suggested that the government could save an annual £2.5 million in electricity costs.
The idea, as we all know, was eventually introduced in 1917, but not in the form Willett envisioned. Willett thought that the clocks could be moved forward twenty minutes per day, for four Sundays in the spring of each calendar year. The clocks would then be moved back, over the course of four Sundays, in the fall.
Imagine the confusion of four weeks of daylight-saving changes. It is hard enough remembering to change them twice a year.
But there still is a lot of merit to Willett’s idea. Daylight-saving time does work to increase the number of working hours spent in the light; that is completely correct. But the hour gained and lost, that most of the Northern Hemisphere participates in, can seem like a drastic change for many. We are all sleep deprived from our busy schedules and the hour loss in the spring is sometimes the tipping point for many individuals.
If Willett’s plan was adopted in full, the 20 minute slow change could reduce the damage done on individuals who are too weak to lose one more full hour of sleep.
So, is it worth a try? Tell us what you think. Comment below.