The Sun and the Clock


    LAST week a Bill was introduced into Parliament by Mr. R. Pearce, M.P. aving for its object the better accommodation of the hours of business to the hours of daylight, to be accomplished by a device which, though simple in appearance, would in practice prove very troublesome. Custom and habit have so arranged the hours of the working day that the general tendency is to use more hours in the afternoon than in the morning. This unequal division is attended with many inconveniences, one of which is that we use artificial light for more hours than would be necessary if we would consent to divide our time more symmetrically with reference to the sun's meridian passage. It is not impossible but that greater economy and more healthy conditions for labour might follow, and so far as this is the purpose of the Bill, which owes its initiative to Mr. Willett, we can all sympathise. It would be an evident advantage to employ sunlight, which costs nothing, in the place of gas and electricity, which are expensive luxuries, and it is probable that it is this obvious benefit which has enlisted the good will of many well-known authorities to what on close examination seems to be rather a childish measure.

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    The Sun and the Clock . Nature 77, 372 (1908).

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