Virtual Museum Canada

Sir SandFord Fleming - The Knight Of Time

The knight of time

The knight of time

Portrait of Sandford Fleming
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Montreal, Vancouver, London, Venice: Sandford Fleming was a constant traveller who made over 40 journeys in his life.

For someone who moved around so often, accurate and reliable transportation schedules were of vital importance… along with a good watch.Fleming always took notes on the duration of his trips. In every country, he faced the same problem: each locality had its own time based on the position of the sun.

Always calculating!
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Under these conditions, it was no easy matter to organize a journey and get to an appointment on time. Fleming proposed to solve the problem by establishing an international system of time reckoning based on time zones.

Letter on the establishment of time zones for trains
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As a true knight of time, he battled to convince his contemporaries of the need to create a uniform system for measuring time.

The system was established in 1885, and we are still using it today.