William Willett Quotes

The Waste of Daylight


While riding through the London streets early one Spring morning, Willett noticed that all the house shutters were closed. He saw it as a waste of a natural resource. Lighting was primarily gas or early electricity, and expensive. He observed that people could use those light hours for working, construction, reading, government and education, but most important, for enjoying additional leisure time. He claimed that it would also save £2 1/2 million pounds each year. He lobbied for the notion. The English Parliament began debating the idea. The Germans however thought so much of Willett’s notion that they made a quick decision and thus Germany became the first nation to adopt Daylight Savings Time. During the First World War (1916), as an economy measure, England finally adopted Daylight Savings Time—the year after Willett died. . (See {588253}). Soon all their European allies did also. Contrary to popular belief it was not adopted to assist farmers, who have always hated it and most still do. They argue that roosters rise when the sun comes up.

William Willett, 1857-1915, English Architect & Builder, Title of Pamphlet, 1907

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William Willett
William Willett
  • Born: August 10, 1856
  • Died: March 4, 1915
  • Nationality: English
  • Profession: Builder

William Willett was a British builder and a tireless promoter of British Summer Time.

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