1st October 1884

A Scot puts Greenwich on the map

Sandford Fleming was born in Kirkcaldy in 1827. He was a moderniser of his time, championing the use of the 24-hour clock and the establishment of a single point of reference for the calculation of all global time zones. That point of reference ended up being the Greenwich Meridian.

At the International Meridian Conference, held in Washington DC, Fleming, who was by then chief engineer of the Canadian Pacific Railway, for which accurate and standardised timekeeping was essential, again championed his idea of using the 24-hour clock, and establishing the prime meridian at Greenwich.

The Conference voted on the various proposals on 13 October, with 22 in favour of Greenwich, one (San Domingo) against and two (France and Brazil) abstaining.



Other events that occured in October

FREE Scotland history newsletter

Don't miss our weekly update on Scotland's fascinating history. We promise never to sell your data to anyone else, and there's a super-easy unsubscribe link on the bottom of each email so you can leave whenever you want.