On the Clock: A (Brief) History of Time


daylight-savings1In 1883, the a coalition of railroad officials carved the continental U.S. into five time zones, introducing Americans to the idea of “standard time.” Twenty five years later, the revolutionary idea was codified into law, with the 1918 Standard Time Act.

In this episode, the American History Guys look at the changing ways Americans have experienced the 24-hour day — from pre-industrial times right on up through today’s era of time-shifted media. They explore the impact of those powerful Gilded Age railroads, and look the role of economic forces in shaping America’s relationship with the clock.  They also explore how people have experienced the rhythm of night and day — and why the advent of electric lighting changed that rhythm forever. Finally, is unlimited time always a good thing?  The History Guys take a loving look at basketball’s shot clock.

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