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Mean solar time has days of equal length, and the difference between the two sums to zero after a year.Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) was established in 1675, when the Royal Observatory was built, as an aid to mariners to determine longitude at sea, providing a standard reference time while each city in England kept a different local time.Most of the time zones on land are offset from Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) by a whole number of hours (UTC−12 to UTC 14), but a few zones are offset by 30 or 45 minutes (e.g.
It was based on the longitude Timekeeping on the American railroads in the mid-19th century was somewhat confused.
Each railroad used its own standard time, usually based on the local time of its headquarters or most important terminus, and the railroad's train schedules were published using its own time.
For a list of time zones by country, see List of time zones by country. Time zones tend to follow the boundaries of countries and their subdivisions because it is convenient for areas in close commercial or other communication to keep the same time.
A time zone is a region of the globe that observes a uniform standard time for legal, commercial, and social purposes.
The confusion of times came to an end when Standard zone time was formally adopted by the U. Congress in the Standard Time Act of March 19, 1918.
Although the first person to propose a worldwide system of time zones was the Italian mathematician Quirico Filopanti in his book Miranda!
Some junctions served by several railroads had a clock for each railroad, each showing a different time. Dowd proposed a system of one-hour standard time zones for American railroads about 1863, although he published nothing on the matter at that time and did not consult railroad officials until 1869.
In 1870 he proposed four ideal time zones (having north–south borders), the first centered on Washington, D.
Within a year 85% of all cities with populations over 10,000, about 200 cities, were using standard time.
A notable exception was Detroit (which is about halfway between the meridians of eastern time and central time) which kept local time until 1900, then tried Central Standard Time, local mean time, and Eastern Standard Time before a May 1915 ordinance settled on EST and was ratified by popular vote in August 1916.