Myth: Daylight saving time was created to help farmers
This is one of the largest misconceptions about the clock-advancing practice. The common thought is that springing the clocks forward gives farmers more hours of daylight to work before the heat gets too high.
The act to preserve daylight and provide standard time was enacted in 1918 in the U.S. But, in 1919, the agriculture industry began to lobby against daylight saving time.
According to agamerica.com, daylight saving time actually interrupts a farmer’s schedule. Dairy cows, in particular, are notoriously schedule oriented.
Moving the clock forward an hour actually makes the cows need to wait an extra hour to produce milk. Moving back an hour means the cows have to wait an extra hour to be milked.
Once the cows get used to the change, daylight saving time hits again and the process starts all over.
Myth: Daylight saving time was invented by Benjamin Franklin
If you’ve seen the Nicholas Cage historically-inaccurate film “National Treasure,” then you were probably led astray with this myth.
Franklin, known for his crass wit, wrote the satirical essay “An Economical Project” in 1784 urging natives of Paris to adopt an earlier sleep schedule. His reasoning was to save on candle wax.
"An immense sum," he said in the essay, "that the city of Paris might save every year.”
He even proposed taxing window shutters in the essay, in order to force Parisians to wake up with the sun.
Myth: Daylight saving time conserves energy
During the oil crisis in the 1970s, the U.S. Department of Treasury found a correlation between daylight saving time and national electricity usage lowering. It only lowered 1 percent.
Indiana instituted daylight saving time state-wide in 2006. According to Scientific American, economist Matthew Kotchen, University of California, found the action led to a rise in electricity use by 1 percent.
He suggested although the clock change can result in in reduced lighting needed for a few hours, it actually raised the need to run air conditioners and heaters through the spring and winter months.
In 2007, when daylight saving time began three weeks earlier than normal, the California Energy Commission observed that extending daylight hours had little effect. It found the drop in usage a 0.2 percent, which was well with the margin of error.
Myth: There is more than one S in daylight saving time
In 1986, the original act to preserve daylight and provide standard time was officially named “Daylight saving time.”
Remember to set your clocks forward one hour before going to bed Saturday night. Daylight saving time officially begins at 2 a.m. Sunday.