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The British Broadcasting Corporation Experiment

Nature volume 134, page 172 (04 August 1934) | Download Citation



THE B.B.C. has stated that there has been no evidence of either widespread opposition or support to the experimental use by it of the 24-hour system. An announcement will be made in due course to what extent, if at all, it will continue the use of the system for other than internal purposes. The experiment was intended to familiarise the public with the 24-hour notation, but has been widely misrepresented in a certain section of the Press as an attempt to impose the 24-hour system for the purposes of everyday life. One paper published photographs of the well-known 24-hour clock at the gate of Greenwich Observatory, and of an ordinary 12-hour dial, and held what was stated to be a plebiscite on the question of the 24-hour system. The voting paper required a cross to be placed against whichever dial was preferred, and the result was announced as a large majority against the 24-hour system. An increasing number of engineering, electrical and other organisations, which are in continuous operation by day and by night, are using the 24-hour system owing to its conveniences and no difficulties of any sort have arisen from its use. The use of the system by the B.B.C. should have educated the public sufficiently for time-tables using the 24-hour notation to be understood. It is to be hoped that the railway companies and road transport organisations will not wait any longer for a Government lead, but that they will introduce the 24-hour system in their timetables by mutual agreement.

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