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On the Clock: A (Brief) History of Time

BackStory on March 08, 2013 20:45

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    In 1883, the American Railway Association carved the continental U.S. into five time zones, introducing Americans to the idea of "standard time." Twenty five years later, the revolutionary idea was codified into law, with the 1918 Calder Act.

    In this episode, we'll look at the changing ways Americans have experienced the span of a day, from pre-industrial times up through today's era of time-shifted media. We'll explore the impact of transportation technologies -- like trains -- and the role of economic forces in shaping people's relationship with the clock. And of course, our investigation into time would not be complete without a review of the origin of the shot clock.

    For more information on the guests featured in this episode and further reading on the topic, visit


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