According to Unique Wall Clocks, a version of Daylight Saving Time was first proposed in 1784 by Benjamin Franklin. He felt that changing the time in the winter would allow for less use of lighting fuel. Here is a link to Benjamin Franklin's
Essay on Daylight Saving - Letter to the Editor of the Journal of Paris, 1784
Again, according to Unique Wall clocks, nothing more was heard about this concept until 1907, when William Willett suggested it in England. Here's a link for more about William Willett and his quest for more "daylight". http://www.webexhibits.org/daylightsaving/ref/Willett.html
Here's a link with (I feel) an excellent synopsis from a British website that explains the progression of the changing of the clocks, the quest for finding a way to "use more daylight".
An introductory quote says: "2007 marked 100 years since British Summer Time was first proposed by William Willett. Changing the clocks for summer time is now an annual ritual in Britain and countries around the world. But why? You can read more about this quest here, or any of the links I've listed here. Since it got it's greatest foothold in Britain, I felt this link will probably be the most accurate for facts, and documentation.
William Willett's pamphlet - Sloane Square, London, July, 1907
Restoration of Normal Time - Home Office Poster
Walking the ‘Willett Way’ - Walking tours around Willett-land
Want to know why the Navajo Nation, in Arizona, observes Daylight Saving Time, when the rest of the state does not? Want to know why "Indiana" used to not observe it (they do now).
Now I want to take a trip to southeast London to learn more about this house builder and horse rider who found daylight to be such a precious commodity ... and "Walk the Willet Way"! Perhaps he had a good idea, a way to justify "want more, waste less" - of our precious daylight! Benjamin Franklin and William Willet may have managed to change my mind about Daylight Saving Time. ~nr lenz