GMT - Greenwich Mean Time - a quick history
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Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) - A quick History

Have you ever wondered how we came to establishing time zones? And why Greenwich (UK) is the start point for world time?

It started when the Greenwich was chosen to be Longitude 0º, the Prime Meridian of the World, in 1884. Forty-one delegates from 25 nations met in Washington DC for the International Meridian Conference. 
The decision (assisted by the USA already using Greenwich as the basis of its own time zones and that 72% of the world's commerce depended on sea-charts which used Greenwich as the Prime Meridian) was that by naming Greenwich as Longitude 0º, it would inconvenience the least number of people. Therefore, the Prime Meridian at Greenwich became the centre of world time, and the starting point of each new day, year and millennium.

Before this, almost every town in the world kept its own local time. There were no national or international conventions to set how time should be measured, or when the day would begin and end, or what the length of an hour might be. However, with the vast expansion of the railway and communications networks during the 1850s and 1860s, the worldwide need for an international time standard became imperative. The Royal Observatory, home of Greenwich Mean Time and the Prime Meridian line, was founded by Charles II in 1675 and is one of the most important historic scientific sites in the world.
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