We ask Alexa or Siri what time it is. Our cars use satellites to keep up with Daylight Saving Time changes. We use our phones as alarm clocks.
So how many of us even remember that we used to call our telcos for a time check?
From The Atlantic
“In the 19th century, big railroad companies had used the telegraph to transmit the time to major railway stations. By the early 20th century, people could simply pick up the telephone and ask a human operator for the time.”
Amazingly people still use a U.S. Naval Observatory time-by-phone line 202-762-1401
“We get 3 million calls per year!” said Demetrios Matsakis, the chief scientist for time services at the Naval Observatory. “And there’s an interesting sociology to it. They don’t call as much on the weekend, and the absolute minimum time they call is Christmas. On big holidays, people don’t care about the time. But we get a big flood of calls when we switch to Daylight [saving] time and back.”