The Standard Time System in the United States

The Standard Time System in the United States (HMW68)

Location: Chicago, IL 60604 Cook County
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Country: United States of America
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N 41° 52.704', W 87° 37.916'

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Adopted on this Site - October 11, 1883

Chicago's famous Grand Pacific Hotel, then on the site of the present Continental Bank building, was the location of the General Time Convention of 1883 which, on October 11 of that year, adopted the current Standard Time System in the United States.

The Convention was called by the nation's railroads. Delegates were asked to develop a better and more uniform time system to govern railroad operations.Previously, time had been determined by the position of the sun, with high noon as the only existing standard of exact local time. More than 100 different local times resulted from this method.

The new plan, proposed by William F. Allen, Convention Secretary, established four equal time zones across the country, each one hour ahead of the zone to its west. All railroad clocks in each zone were to be synchronized to strike the hour simultaneously.

The Standard Time System was inaugurated on November 18, 1883. On that Sunday, known as the "Day of Two Noons," the Allegheny Observatory at the University of Pittsburgh transmitted a telegraph signal when it was exactly noon on the 90th meridian. Railroad clocks throughout the United States were then reset on the hour according to time zone.

Although implemented by the railroads, the Federal Government, states, and cities began to use the system almost immediately. On March 19, 1918, Congress formally acknowledged the plan by passing the Standard Time Act.

This Plaque Presented to
Continental Bank
The Midwest Railway Historical Society, Inc.
November 18, 1971
HM NumberHMW68
Year Placed1971
Placed ByThe Midwest Railway Historical Society, Inc
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Tuesday, September 16th, 2014 at 10:54pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)16T E 447565 N 4636468
Decimal Degrees41.87840000, -87.63193333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 41° 52.704', W 87° 37.916'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds41° 52' 42.24" N, 87° 37' 54.96" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)312, 630, 773, 224, 708
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 231 S LaSalle St, Chicago IL 60604, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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