What Time Is It

By Deane Barker on August 9, 2004

The official U.S. time: This site came in handy today.

This public service is cooperatively provided by the two time agencies of United States: a Department of Commerce agency, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and its military counterpart, the U. S. Naval Observatory (USNO). Readings from the clocks of these agencies contribute to world time, called Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). The time maintained by both agencies should never differ by more than 0.000 0001 seconds from UTC…

I found the site via a Google search for “What time is it” which makes me wonder if Google anticipates obvious search phrases and “pre-loads” results for them.



  1. I think there are still numbers to call. I can’t find official [telephone] numbers listed for that on the net though. This is distressing considering that I seems there would be more lag time getting it on the net itself, diminishing the accuracy of it.

  2. I used that call time often as a kid. I have tried to find the number but no luck. Please keep me informed if you find it!!

  3. The time phone number was 853-1212, however the recording now says as of Sept 19, 2007 the time announcement service has been discontinued – no explanation given.

    DGM San Diego

  4. Just returned from overseas – tried to set all clocks back – shocked that number doesn’t work anymore. Why??????

  5. I really miss this service as well. A friend told me recently that they believe that with all the new technology we have now, they figured we no longer needed the time serve. However, I disagree with that. Many people use their cell phones to catch the time, or any battery operated clock would work if the electricitiy goes out that is if it keeps good time. A person can go to their internet as well to find the time out.

  6. I used to work in a medical lab, and we periodically were to make sure that our stop watches and timers were calibrated and had to document such. The # was 800-844-1212. I recently tried to call to set my clocks, but found that the # didn’t work. I miss this service, and haven’t been able to find another #.

  7. I picked a phone number that was easy to remember from my cable company…and I grabbed 844-1212. I will not tell you the area code but I will tell you that two times a year especially, I get calls from people wanting the time. Those two times, If you haven’t figured it out yet…time changes from daylight savings to standard or standard to daylight savings. I am willing to give time, weather, and movie revues but most people hang uo on me. Go figgur.

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