Standard timeIn 1883, standard time in the U.S. went into effect at noon for the first time due a decision of the American Railway Association. The actual local time, or “sun time” constantly changes as one moves either east or west. With the arrival of railroad travel, the situation raised problems for railway lines and passengers trying to synchronize schedules in different cities. The need for a system of standardized time was evident. The system adopted was first proposed by Charles F. Dowd (1825-1904), a school principal in New York state. North America was divided into four time zones, fifteen degrees of longitude, and one hour of "standard time" apart. Sir Stanford Fleming proposed the extension of the Dowd system to the whole world with 24 time zones.