Did Benjamin Franklin come up with the idea of Daylight Saving Time? No.
While Franklin was an envoy in Paris in 1784, he was unpleasantly awakened one morning at 6 AM by the summer sun. He then penned a satirical essay in which he calculated that Parisians, simply by waking up at dawn, could save the modern-day equivalent of $200 million through “the economy of using sunshine instead of candles.” As a result of this essay, Franklin is often erroneously given the honor of “inventing” daylight saving time, but he only proposed a change in sleep schedules—not the time itself.
Read more interesting facts about Daylight Saving Time–including the identity of who could be credited as “the father of Daylight Saving Time”–in this month’s issue of The Throwback, my monthly history-themed e-newsletter.