National Research Council Canada-NRC

National Research Council Canada-NRC

November 05, 2014 05:43 ET

Today Marks the 75th Anniversary of Canada's Official Time Signal

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Nov. 5, 2014) - Seventy-five years ago, the broadcast of Canada's official time signal was first heard on CBC Radio. It was November 5, 1939, as a war was being waged in Europe. Since then, listeners all across the country have used "the beginning of the long dash" to set their clocks to the exact time. Time has a huge impact on our lives. Cellphones, computers, GPS systems, and stock exchange markets are but a few examples of applications relying on accurate time.

Metrology and measurement standards lie at the heart of every industrial process, from research and product development to commerce and international trade. As a world-leader in the science of measurement, the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) keeps improving the measurement capability of the industry and ensures our country's interests are well-represented internationally.

The National Research Council houses and operates the precision clocks that disseminate the time signal, and is responsible for the metric system and the standard for mass in Canada. NRC is engaged in a wide variety of other related activities, including calibration services provided to cancer clinics, ensuring that patients receive accurate radiation doses. Through three research programs, NRC helps scientists, researchers, and industries where high-precision measurements are critical for market success.

Quick Facts

  • The Metrology for Industry and Society program develops, improves, and delivers metrology services to support industrial competitiveness and regulatory compliance in existing and evolving market sectors.
  • The Measurement Science for Emerging Technologies program helps industry where new technology solutions are required and where conventional measurement approaches don't apply or are limited. It ensures the responsible introduction of new technologies to the marketplace.
  • The Scientific Support for the National Measurement System program ensures Canada's measurement interests are well-represented internationally. It also serves as a bridge between the Standards Council of Canada and third-party measurement laboratories seeking accreditation to International Organization for Standardization (ISO) standards.


"Today marks the 75th anniversary of Canada's longest-running radio program, the National Research Council Time Signal. Over the decades, Canadians and Canadian businesses have depended on the long dash as the standard by which to set their clocks. Our government will continue to support the NRC Measurement Science and Standards, which has important implications in radio astronomy, spectroscopy, geodesy, length measurement, voltage measurement, broadcasting and even electronics manufacturing-fields in science and industry that create jobs and prosperity for Canadians."

Ed Holder, Minister of State (Science and Technology)

"National Research Council metrology experts help manufacturers and users of precision instruments develop and exploit new technological solutions. We support innovation and economic growth across all Canadian industries."

Alan Steele, Canada's Chief Metrologist and General Manager of Measurement Science and Standards at the National Research Council of Canada

Additional Links

- How Canada's Official Time is Kept Behind the Scenes Look (video)

- Metrology for Industry and Society

- Measurement Science for Emerging Technologies

- Scientific Support for the National Measurement System

Contact Information

  • Media Relations Team
    National Research Council of Canada
    1-855-282-1637 (24/7)
    Twitter: @nrc_cnrc