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Time Zones

November 16, 2014

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Profile America — Sunday, November 16th. This month in 1883, the ancestor of today's familiar U.S. time zones first appeared at the initiative of the American Railway Association. A schoolteacher named Charles Dowd is credited with first proposing the notion of time zones as early as 1863, in order to rationalize railroad timetables, there being 80 time standards then in use by localities. There was wide but incomplete acceptance of the railway association's zones, and the adjusted zones were not made law until 1918. In 1884, delegates from 25 nations met in Washington, D.C. and established a standard system of 24 time zones around the world. Making timepieces is about a $600 million a year business for 121 establishments in the U.S., employing some 2,400 people. You can find more facts about America from the U.S. Census Bureau online at <>.

Charles Dowd biography
Time Zones go into effect
Global time zones
Timepiece making establishments and employment NAICS 334518
Timepiece manufacturing revenues NAICS 334518

Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Public Information Office | Last Revised: October 23, 2014