[PW] Historical time zones in the US

Lonn Taylor taylorw at fortdavis.net
Mon Aug 22 15:15:42 PDT 2016


Jeanne,

It could have been 1945 but I am pretty sure it was not 1947 as my father
was in the Philippines in the summer of 1947. It also could have been
Bluefield. I am a professional historian and I am well aware of the frailty
of human memory.

Lonn

On Sun, Aug 21, 2016 at 6:34 PM, Bristol Library <bplref at gmail.com> wrote:

> Lonn, is there any chance it could have been a different year? I went
> thought the 1946 microfilm, and it appears both sides went on DST on the
> same day and switched back on the same day-- two months earlier than
> intended, because the Commonwealth of Virginia had passed a resolution that
> the Commonwealth would not do DST. I was going to check the next couple of
> years just to see if it came up again.  My other thought is that maybe it
> was Bluefield, Virginia/West Virginia.  I haven't checked but Bristol has
> stood in for Bluefield before (RIP, Hank Williams!)
>
> On Sat, Aug 20, 2016 at 8:48 AM, Lonn Taylor <taylorw at fortdavis.net>
> wrote:
>
> > Dear Jeanne,
> >
> > I'm glad I could be helpful. I was only six at the time, but the incident
> > stuck in my mind because my mother, who was usually very even-tempered,
> was
> > very out of sorts with my father for not stopping on the Virginia side of
> > the line in the first place, at a restaurant she had spotted (the one we
> > eventually went back to).
> >
> > All best,
> >
> > Lonn
> >
> > On Fri, Aug 19, 2016 at 10:02 AM, Bristol Library <bplref at gmail.com>
> > wrote:
> >
> > > Lonn, your comment interests me greatly.  I had been going through the
> > > newspapers for 1946 and I found an article stating that both Bristol,
> VA
> > > and Bristol, TN were going to observe DST.  At this point, it wasn't
> > > mandatory; the nationwide DST ended with WWII. However, when I checked
> > the
> > > paper for the supposed ending date-- September 29, according to the
> first
> > > article-- there was no reminder about adjusting the clocks.  And,
> > according
> > > to the information Ivan provided, Bristol wasn't known to have observed
> > > DST.  I had already been wondering, and now I believe that both sides
> > ended
> > > DST before the intended date and it's quite possible that the Tennessee
> > > side did so first.  I'm going to have to go through all the microfilmed
> > > newspapers to confirm this hypothesis, and you've given me added
> > incentive.
> > >
> > > Glad you have a lovely lunch at least!  Mmmmmmm... butter beans and
> > > cornbread!  (And now I'm going to have the song "Butter Beans" stuck in
> > my
> > > head!)
> > >
> > > Regards, Jeanne
> > >
> > > On Thu, Aug 18, 2016 at 1:09 PM, Lonn Taylor <taylorw at fortdavis.net>
> > > wrote:
> > >
> > > > In the summer of 1946 my parents and I were driving from Washington,
> DC
> > > to
> > > > Fort Worth, Texas and we stopped in Bristol for lunch. We went into a
> > > > restaurant and were told rather abruptly that "dinner ain't ready
> yet"
> > > > because we had crossed into Tennessee and it was only 11:00 AM and
> not
> > > noon
> > > > as my
> > > > father's watch showed. I remember this vividly even though I was only
> > six
> > > > because it was my first awareness of time zones.
> > > >
> > > > We crossed back to the Virginia side of the line and had a delicious
> > > lunch
> > > > of country ham, cornbread, and butter beans.
> > > >
> > > > Lonn Taylor
> > > > Fort Davis, Texas
> > > >
> > > > Sent from my iPhone
> > > >
> > > > On Aug 18, 2016, at 11:42 AM, Bristol Library <bplref at gmail.com>
> > wrote:
> > > >
> > > > > Hi, John,
> > > > > Would you mind if I quoted your letter to the patron to give some
> > > > context?
> > > > > I have found some newspaper notices of train schedules departing
> > > Bristol
> > > > > with the notation that some are using "Washington Time" while
> others
> > > use
> > > > > "Knoxville Time" but without the explanation you give, that won't
> > mean
> > > > > much.  Thank you again for the information!  I'm still going
> through
> > > the
> > > > > paper to see if I can find any articles about the Calder Act.
> > > > >
> > > > > Regards, Jeanne
> > > > >
> > > > > On Wed, Aug 17, 2016 at 8:31 PM, John Sleasman <
> > johnsleasman at gmail.com
> > > >
> > > > > wrote:
> > > > >
> > > > >> I have no expertise (other than knowing its complex) in the state
> > > > >> assignment of different counties to the next time zone for the
> > > > convenience
> > > > >> of residents, or exemption from DST, but as a railroad buff, let
> me
> > > add
> > > > an
> > > > >> additional complication.
> > > > >>
> > > > >> Prior to the Standard Time Act of 1918, there were no official
> > > > government
> > > > >> boundaries for time zones. Standard time and zones were mostly set
> > by
> > > > >> railroads in 1883 and after, often at junction points where
> > transfers
> > > > were
> > > > >> made from one company to another, or crews were changed. Cities
> > might
> > > > not
> > > > >> agree with the railroad, and set their clocks differently, but
> > mostly
> > > > did,
> > > > >> as people missed trains if they weren't following the same time as
> > the
> > > > >> depot. If you look at that 1913 map, you'll find that there are
> > often
> > > > lines
> > > > >> - actually, more varied than shows at that scale - that bounce
> back
> > > and
> > > > >> forth around the states, with the central zone reaching the
> Atlantic
> > > in
> > > > >> Georgia, and the pacific zone reaching into Texas, mostly for the
> > > > >> convenience of the Southern and Southern Pacific railroads to
> > simplify
> > > > >> their operations.
> > > > >>
> > > > >> I have an old Official Guide of the Railways that shows the
> Southern
> > > > >> having three lines out of a common station (with the N&W) at
> > Bristol.
> > > > The
> > > > >> line going west to Knoxville and Chattanooga operates on central
> > zone
> > > > time,
> > > > >> as expected. The line west to St. Charles VA also operates on
> > central
> > > > time.
> > > > >> But the line east to Mountain City TN operates on eastern zone.
> Hard
> > > to
> > > > >> tell without exhaustive research, but I might hazard a rough guess
> > > that
> > > > was
> > > > >> indicative of the surrounding territory, and that Bristol VA could
> > > have
> > > > >> operated on eastern time and Bristol TN on central in that era.
> They
> > > > would
> > > > >> be far from the only border pair that did so. Weirder things
> > happened,
> > > > >> which was one of the reasons that in additional to establishing
> DST,
> > > the
> > > > >> 1918 act set up standard boundaries and gave control over zones to
> > the
> > > > >> government(s).
> > > > >>
> > > > >> The Standard Time Act (Calder Act) was signed by President Wilson
> on
> > > > March
> > > > >> 19,1918, setting up both the zones and DST. You might check local
> > > > sources
> > > > >> around that date to see if they note any comments about
> > > standardization
> > > > >> and/or boundary changes. Mandatory observance of DST only lasted
> one
> > > > year,
> > > > >> that provision being repealed after the end of WWI.
> > > > >>
> > > > >> On 08/17/2016 6:25 PM, Bristol Library wrote:
> > > > >>
> > > > >>> I have a patron who wants to know if our twin cities were ever on
> > > > >>> different
> > > > >>> times. The state line goes down the center of town, half in
> > Tennessee
> > > > and
> > > > >>> half in Virginia.  My first thought was perhaps there was a time
> > when
> > > > one
> > > > >>> side didn't observe DST, but so far I haven't found that to be
> the
> > > > case,
> > > > >>> though admittedly this is difficult to ascertain.  I'm going
> > through
> > > > >>> microfilmed newspapers but between 1945 and 1967, states could
> > decide
> > > > when
> > > > >>> they wanted DST to begin and end, providing they wanted to change
> > at
> > > > all.
> > > > >>> However, in poking around I found an image of a 1913 time zone
> map
> > > for
> > > > the
> > > > >>> U.S. which would seem to show Virginia in one time zone and
> > Tennessee
> > > > in
> > > > >>> another.  Does anyone known when the next time zones were set?
> Or
> > > > exactly
> > > > >>> when this time zone might have been set? My thought is that there
> > > > might be
> > > > >>> an article in a local paper at the time this took place,
> commenting
> > > on
> > > > the
> > > > >>> event.
> > > > >>>
> > > > >>> TIA for any help,
> > > > >>> Jeanne
> > > > >>> who is really, really tired of trying to read old microfilm
> > > > >> _______________________________________________
> > > > >> Project Wombat - Project-Wombat-Open
> > > > >> list at project-wombat.org
> > > > >> http://www.project-wombat.org/
> > > > >
> > > > >
> > > > >
> > > > > --
> > > > > Bristol Public Library
> > > > > Bristol, VA/TN
> > > > >
> > > > > See what we're reading now:
> > > > > http://bristol-library-bookblog.blogspot.com/
> > > > > _______________________________________________
> > > > > Project Wombat - Project-Wombat-Open
> > > > > list at project-wombat.org
> > > > > http://www.project-wombat.org/
> > > > _______________________________________________
> > > > Project Wombat - Project-Wombat-Open
> > > > list at project-wombat.org
> > > > http://www.project-wombat.org/
> > > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > --
> > > Bristol Public Library
> > > Bristol, VA/TN
> > >
> > > See what we're reading now:
> > > http://bristol-library-bookblog.blogspot.com/
> > > _______________________________________________
> > > Project Wombat - Project-Wombat-Open
> > > list at project-wombat.org
> > > http://www.project-wombat.org/
> > >
> > _______________________________________________
> > Project Wombat - Project-Wombat-Open
> > list at project-wombat.org
> > http://www.project-wombat.org/
> >
>
>
>
> --
> Bristol Public Library
> Bristol, VA/TN
>
> See what we're reading now:
> http://bristol-library-bookblog.blogspot.com/
> _______________________________________________
> Project Wombat - Project-Wombat-Open
> list at project-wombat.org
> http://www.project-wombat.org/
>


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