Daylight Saving Time: The Early Experiences III: Great Britain

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 – here – described the request for information about French, British, and German 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 that information for a planned convention on Daylight Saving Time planned for his city in January 1917. 

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


In response to instructions from the Department of State, the U.S. embassy in London sent the following despatch.[2] It did not arrive before the planned convention.  Upon receipt, however, the Department forwarded the despatch and enclosure to Marks even though the embassy had sent a copy of the enclosed report directly to Marks.[3]

Despatch 5913 from US Embassy London
U.S. Embassy London to Department of State, Despatch 5913, March 9, 1917
U.S. Embassy London to Department of State, Despatch 5913, March 9, 1917
Report of the Summer Time Committee
Enclosure, U.S. Embassy London to Department of State, Despatch 5913, March 9, 1917
Enclosure, U.S. Embassy London to Department of State, Despatch 5913, March 9, 1917

[1] Second Assistant Secretary of State Alvey Adee to Marcus Marks to, 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 London to Department of State, Despatch 5913, March 9, 1917, file 800.92511/20, 1910-29 Central Decimal File (NAID 302021), RG 59: General Records of the Department of State.  The despatch enclosed the report of the Summer Time Committee appointed by the Secretary of State for the Home Department to study the social and economic results of the use of Daylight Saving Time in 1916 and to make recommendations about continuing the practice or modifying its implementation.  The cover page and table of contents are displayed.

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

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