Philadelphia Reflections

The musings of a physician who has served the community for over six decades

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Benjamin Franklin
A collection of Benjamin Franklin tidbits that relate Philadelphia's revolutionary prelate to his moving around the city, the colonies, and the world.


B. Franklin and Daylight Savings

{Daylight Saving Time}
Daylight Saving Time

Ben Franklin's father was a candle maker working out of his home. Little Benjamin was thus in a position to watch the rise and fall of candle sales with each passing season; it must have been a central fact of that household's economy. Many years later when he was Ambassador to France, the suggestion of Daylight Savings Time was likely less a demonstration of his ingenuity than a testimony to his powers of observation and reflection.

Now, over two centuries later than that, the point is being raised that what with Nintendo and television and all, daylight time may actually cause more consumption of electrical energy than it saves. It's a striking thought, even quite a revolutionary one. Until you remember that Franklin, more than any one person, also discovered electricity.

Originally published: Sunday, March 09, 2008; most-recently modified: Friday, September 20, 2019