Essay on Daylight Saving

Bkn

"I took for the basis of my calculation the supposition that there are one hundred thousand families in Paris, and that these families consume in the night half a pound of bougies, or candles, per hour. I think this is a moderate allowance, taking one family with another; for though I believe some consume less, I know that many consume a great deal more. Then estimating seven hours per day as the medium quantity between the time of the sun’s rising and ours, he rising during the six following months from six to eight hours before noon, and there being seven hours of course per night in which we burn candles, the account will stand thus;–

In the six months between the 20th of March and the 20th of September, there are
Nights     183
Hours of each night in which we burn candles     7
Multiplication gives for the total number of hours     1,281
These 1,281 hours multiplied by 100,000, the number of inhabitants, give     128,100,000
One hundred twenty-eight millions and one hundred thousand hours, spent at Paris by candle-light, which, at half a pound of wax and tallow per hour, gives the weight of     64,050,000
Sixty-four millions and fifty thousand of pounds, which, estimating the whole at-the medium price of thirty sols the pound, makes the sum of ninety-six millions and seventy-five thousand livres tournois     96,075,000

An immense sum! that the city of Paris might save every year, by the economy of using sunshine instead of candles. If it should be said, that people are apt to be obstinately attached to old customs, and that it will be difficult to induce them to rise before noon, consequently my discovery can be of little use; I answer, Nil desperandum. I believe all who have common sense, as soon as they have learnt from this paper that it is daylight when the sun rises, will contrive to rise with him; and, to compel the rest, I would propose the following regulations; First. Let a tax be laid of a louis per window, on every window that is provided with shutters to keep out the light of the sun…"

Benjamin Franklin’s "Essay on Daylight Saving" 
Letter to the Editor of the Journal of Paris, 1784

LINK

Remember: DST begins on April 2nd at 2 A.M.

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