Time Lord : Sir Sandford Fleming and the Creation of Standard Time
The remarkable story of the man who created and then convinced all the nations of the world to adopt a unified standard for telling time.
Standard Time was one of the crowning achievements of Victorian progressiveness and one of the few Victorian innovations to have survived practically unchanged into our era. Few technological inventions have proven to be both as invisible and as important. 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 transatlantic 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 from 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.
In Time Lord , Clark Blaise 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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