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August 17th, 2009


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11:52 am - Attn anachronism police
Who can tell me in what year Newfoundland adopted the practice of adding 30 minutes on to their time zone? Wonkypedia only gives me years when Daylight Savings Time was adopted, but says nothing about those extra 30 minutes. And them's crucial. Much obliged.





Your pal,
Hieronymous Q. Mushmeyer
Director of Anachronistic Look-Uppery

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[User Picture]
From:muffyjo
Date:August 17th, 2009 04:37 pm (UTC)
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Let's see:
Newfoundland, (but not Labrador), lies squarely in the eastern half of its time zone, exactly three and a half hours from Greenwich. The Newfoundland government attempted to bring the province into conformity with the other Atlantic provinces in 1963, but withdrew in the face of stiff public opposition.

Back in the 1770s John Harrison invented the first completely accurate clock (to within a third of a second) that was seaworthy (and would therefore help the navy establish both where they were and when!) which helped to make longitude more easily managed.

The first time zone in the world was established by British railway companies on December 1, 1847 — with GMT kept by portable chronometers. This quickly became known as Railway Time. About August 23, 1852, time signals were first transmitted by telegraph from the Royal Observatory, Greenwich. Even though 98% of Great Britain's public clocks were using GMT by 1855, it was not made Britain's legal time until August 2, 1880.

In 1884 Greenwich was officially established as Longitude '0' worldwide (it had certainly been so for the UK long before that but there had been some discrepancy as to who got to claim it universally) and so established where the time started. But most places used solar time based on the rising of the sun (and setting, of course) to deal with things. When the railway system started crossing large parcels of land, it became more complex and complicated.

But as a mean solar time, GMT is defined by the rotation of the Earth, which is not constant in rate. So, the rate of atomic clocks was annually changed or steered to closely match GMT. But on January 1, 1972 it became fixed, using predefined leap seconds instead of rate changes. This new time system is Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). Leap seconds are inserted to keep UTC within 0.9 seconds of UT1. In this way, local times continue to correspond approximately to mean solar time, while the effects of variations in Earth's rotation rate are confined to simple step changes that can be easily applied to obtain a uniform time

[M]ost major countries had adopted hourly time zones by 1929. T

And as you already know, in 1917, Newfoundland adopted the daylight time savings: The new law stated that at nine o'clock in the evening of the second Sunday in June clocks would be put ahead to ten o'clock and would not be turned back until the last Sunday in September. It is not clear exactly when clocks were put ahead in 1917, as the bill became law one week after DST was scheduled to take effect. DST in Newfoundland came to be known as "Anderson’s Time", at least in the years immediately following its adoption.

Not sure if that actually helps but hopefully something in there will help narrow down your search for whatever information it is you need.

:)
[User Picture]
From:derspatchel
Date:August 18th, 2009 11:18 pm (UTC)
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This is the "James Burke's Connections" of this thread.
[User Picture]
From:muffyjo
Date:August 20th, 2009 05:17 am (UTC)
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i guess that means verbose and not terribly helpful? Sorry about that. Looks like you got your answer though, which is awesome.
[User Picture]
From:derspatchel
Date:August 20th, 2009 03:42 pm (UTC)
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No no no no, I like Connections. I was amazed at how far back you dug into time zone history for the full story!
[User Picture]
From:muffyjo
Date:August 22nd, 2009 03:46 am (UTC)
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OH! Heh. {blush}
[User Picture]
From:antikythera
Date:August 17th, 2009 04:39 pm (UTC)
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It has its own article, which suggests that the half hour is because it's precisely in the middle of the 3.5-hours-off-GMT zone.
[User Picture]
From:ron_newman
Date:August 17th, 2009 04:40 pm (UTC)
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Maybe these folks or these (more specifically) would know the answer?

Edited at 2009-08-17 04:41 pm (UTC)
[User Picture]
From:mybadhairlife
Date:August 17th, 2009 05:38 pm (UTC)
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Newfoundland didn't join Canada until 1949. Between 1867 and 1949, Newfoundland often made a point of NOT being part of Canada.

When Time Zones were first officially marked out in 1883, I have a feeling that the True Newfoundlanders (they have their own song!) were probably wanting to make a point. I also found this: "The Newfoundland Standard Time Act of 1935 enshrined this time zone before Newfoundland joined Canada in 1949. It is 3.5 hours behind Ireland."

It's one of the many things that make the Rock and its inhabitants so awesome.
[User Picture]
From:mybadhairlife
Date:August 17th, 2009 05:39 pm (UTC)
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P.S. The Source of my quotation

I looked up the Newfoundland Standard Time Act and tried to trace the legislative history. This is the quickest, dirtiest early reference I could find.
[User Picture]
From:derspatchel
Date:August 18th, 2009 06:50 pm (UTC)
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ROCKET ANACHRONISM MAN THANKS YOU FOR YOUR FINE RESEARCH ON THE MARITIMES AS THAT IS JUST WHAT WE NEEDED

OVER AND OUT
[User Picture]
From:enf
Date:August 17th, 2009 06:06 pm (UTC)
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The history in the Olson (zoneinfo) time zone package says it was at 3:30:52 (local mean time for St. John's) until March 30, 1935, and precisely 3:30 thereafter. I have a copy of Shanks's The American Atlas at home and can check whether it agrees if you want.
[User Picture]
From:derspatchel
Date:August 18th, 2009 06:52 pm (UTC)
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Wow! Right down to the day and time, even! Thank you very much!

(The date of this thingo I'm working on is 1938, so I needed to make sure Newfoundland observed that time ... er... at that time.)

Edited at 2009-08-18 06:53 pm (UTC)
[User Picture]
From:nathanw
Date:August 18th, 2009 02:55 am (UTC)
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Could be worse; you could be in Nepal (which has a :45 offset).

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