In 1876, Sandford Fleming missed a train in Ireland and started to think about ways of standardizing time measurement.
In 1879, he presented a paper to the Canadian Institute in Toronto, recommending 24 global time zones to standardize time. The idea attracted interest.
In 1881, Fleming surveyed railway engineers and scientists to verify their support for his scheme; a consensus appeared to emerge.
Four years later, American and Canadian railways adopted a system of wide time zones. Railway time, simple and standardized, became the standard for North America.
In 1884, Sandford Fleming convinced participants at the international conference on standardized time, held in Washington, to adopt international standards.
The 25 nations attending the conference endorsed the principle and adopted the meridian of Greenwich, England, as a reference for longitude and time, with a one-hour shift for each time zone.
On January 1, 1885, the international time zone system officially came into effect.
Note: For best viewing of this site, you will need this plugin:
Download Adobe reader