At noon on Nov. 18, 1883, Americans experienced for the first time something called Standard Railway Time. It was the brainchild of a group of railroad executives who had met in Chicago the month before. In the interests of streamlining and standardizing their booming businesses, they had divided the nation into four time zones based on the 75th, 90th, 105th and 120th meridians.
Their decision applied solely to railroad schedules, the only thing over which they had authority. But it would soon change the life of every American. Continued