Daylight Saving Time: The Early Experiences II: France

Today’s post is written by David Langbart, an Archivist in the Textual Records Division at the National Archives at College Park.

An earlier post described the request for information about overseas experience with Daylight Saving Time made to the Department of State by Marcus Marks, President of the Borough of Manhattan in New York City.  Marks wanted information about the experiences of France, Germany, and Great Britain for use at a planned convention on Daylight Saving Time set to take place in in his city in January 1917. 

The Department of State informed Marks that it would endeavor to obtain the information he wanted from the embassies in Berlin, London, and Paris.[1]


In response to the instruction from the Department of State, the U.S. embassy in Paris sent the following despatch.[2]  It did not arrive in time for the planned convention.  Upon receipt the Department, nevertheless, forwarded the despatch and enclosures to Marks.[3]

Next: Great Britain.


[1] Second Assistant Secretary of State Alvey Adee to Marcus Marks, November 18, 1916, file 800.92511/16, 1910-29 Central Decimal File (NAID 302021), RG 59: General Records of the Department of State.  For the Department’s instructions, see: Department of State to Embassy Berlin, Instruction 3738, Department of State to Embassy London, Instruction 4490, and Department of State to Embassy Paris, Instruction 1421, all November 18, 1916, file 800.92511/16, 1910-29 Central Decimal File, RG 59: General Records of the Department of State. 

[2] U.S. Embassy Paris to Department of State, Despatch 5139, February 2, 1917, file 800.92511/18, 1910-29 Central Decimal File (NAID 302021), RG 59: General Records of the Department of State.  The despatch included several enclosures of which only the translation of a report by the Ministry of Public Instruction, Fine Arts and Inventions Concerning the National Defense is included here.

[3] Second Assistant Secretary of State Alvey Adee to Marcus Marks, February 20, 1917, file 800.92511/18, 1910-29 Central Decimal File (NAID 302021), RG 59: General Records of the Department of State. 

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