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Samuel Pierpont Langley




In 1867, Langley became the first director of the Allegheny Observatory in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. There, he devised the world’s first precise time standard, Allegheny Time. From Pittsburgh, a standardized time signal was for the first time distributed to cities and railroads all over the United States. Langley new and precise time signal ensured that America’s railroads ran safely, because even a minute or two of deviation on a conductor or switch operator’s watch could spell disaster. Langley’s invention is considered to be the origin of the modern standard time system. Used throughout the world today, this system of time zones divides the globe into eastern and western hemisphere with one Prime Meridian and its opposite, the International Dateline. In 2015, Kobold unveiled the Langley GMT to commemorate this great Pittsburgher. The Langley GMT exists thanks to the input of Pittsburgh mayor Bill Peduto. Mayor Peduto is the producer of UNDAUNTED: The Forgotten Giants of the Allegheny Observatory, an award-winning PBS documentary about the achievements of Samuel Pierpont Langley and his team at the Allegheny Observatory. It was Mayor Peduto’s idea to further commemorate Langley with a special timepiece.