Living on Internet Time | The New Yorker

If we are indeed nostalgic for the weight of clock time, it is worth remembering that the standardized time that most of us know has only been around since the mid-nineteenth century. It was invented for the railroads.

Prior to the institutionalization of standard time, clocks were set using local meridians or local mean time, and they varied widely.

By setting all clocks with standardized deviations from a central meridian, such as Greenwich Mean Time—in 1855 in Britain, in 1883 in the United States—train schedules could make sense nationally; eventually, plane schedules could make sense internationally, as well, and so on.

via Living on Internet Time – The New Yorker.

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