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Time Lord: Sir Sandford Fleming and the Creation of Standard Time

by Blaise, Clark

  • ISBN: 9780375401763
  • ISBN10: 0375401768

Time Lord: Sir Sandford Fleming and the Creation of Standard Time

by Blaise, Clark

  • List Price: $24.00
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: Pantheon Books
  • Publish date: 04/01/2001
  • ISBN: 9780375401763
  • ISBN10: 0375401768
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Description: Few technological inventions are both as invisible and as important as Standard Time. Today we take it for granted that the world is divided into twenty-four time zones, but before Standard Time was established in 1884, time was an arbitrary measure decided by individual localities. With the advent of continent-spanning railroads and trans-Atlantic steamers, the myriad local times became a mind-boggling obstacle, and the rational ordering of time became an urgent priority.

After laboring for years to create a scientific consensus, Sandford Fleming gathered scientific and political representatives of the world's twenty-five independent nations in Washington, D.C., for the Prime Meridian Conference. There, after considerable rancor, delegates agreed to the Greenwich Prime Meridian, the International Date Line, and a single system by which the entire world would measure its longitudes and tell the same time.

Standard Time is one of the crowning achievements of Victorian progressiveness -- and one of the few Victorian innovations to have survived virtually unchanged into our era. Time Lord introduces us to an almost-forgotten figure who saw the world as a whole and overcame traditional and national objections to the rational accounting of time.

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