William Musgrave Calder I
United States Senator
from New York
In office
March 4, 1917 – March 3, 1923
Preceded byJames A. O'Gorman
Succeeded byRoyal S. Copeland
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 6th district
In office
March 4, 1905 – March 3, 1915
Preceded byRobert Baker
Succeeded byFrederick W. Rowe
Personal details
Born(1869-03-03)March 3, 1869
Brooklyn, New York
DiedMarch 3, 1945(1945-03-03) (aged 76)
Brooklyn, New York
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Catherine E. Harloe
ChildrenElsie Calder Lee
William Musgrave Calder II
ParentsAlexander G. Calder
RelativesWilliam Musgrave Calder III, grandson

William Musgrave Calder I (March 3, 1869 – March 3, 1945) was an American politician from New York.[1]


He was born in Brooklyn on March 3, 1869 to Susan (Ryan) Calder and Alexander G. Calder, a carpenter and building contractor.[2] He trained as a carpenter, attended night classes at Cooper Union, and went into business as a builder and architect, most notably in the Park Slope and Flatbush neighborhoods of Brooklyn. In this capacity, he developed the "Calder House," a semi-detached two-family structure that was widely adopted in the latter district.[3] From 1902 until his death, Calder resided in the former district at 551 1st Street, a limestone townhouse built by competitor William Flanagan.[4]

In 1893, he married Catherine E. Harloe. His children were Elsie Calder, who married to Rear Admiral Robert C. Lee, and William M. Calder II.

He served as the Borough of Brooklyn Building Commissioner from 1902 to 1903. He represented New York as a Republican in the United States House of Representatives from 1905 until 1915. In 1914, he lost the Republican primary for U.S. Senator to James Wolcott Wadsworth, Jr. In 1916, he won the Republican primary, defeating Robert Bacon, and was elected to the United States Senate over Democratic National Committee chairman William F. McCombs in the general election. He served one term, from 1917 to 1923. He became well known as the sponsor of the Standard Time Act of 1918 (also known as the Calder Act), the first U.S. law implementing standard time and daylight saving time in the United States. In 1922, he was defeated for re-election by Democrat Royal S. Copeland. After leaving Congress he continued to be active in the building trade and financial institutions.

He died on March 3, 1945, which was his 76th birthday.[1]


His papers are held in a number of archives including: Herbert Hoover Presidential Library; the New York Historical Society; and Yale University. His grandson William Musgrave Calder III is a professor of Classics at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign. He authored many books.


  1. ^ a b "W. M. Calder Dies. U.S. Ex-Senator, 76. Leader in Republican Politics Served in 1917-1923. Was Representative 10 Years. Erected More Than 3,500 Homes. Host to Sunday School Union 22 Years". New York Times. March 4, 1945. Retrieved 2010-11-17. Former United States Senator William M. Calder died yesterday afternoon on his seventy-sixth birthday at his home, 551 First Street, Brooklyn, after an illness of two years.
  2. ^ "A. G. Calder Is Dead. Farther of the Former Senator Was 85 and a Retired Builder". New York Times. March 6, 1927. Retrieved 2010-11-17. Alexander G. Calder, father of former United States Senator William M. Calder, died last night at his home at 420 Eighth Street, Brooklyn. Former Senator Calder, his son, and several friends were at the house at the time. Mr. Calder was 85 years old.
  3. ^ https://timesmachine.nytimes.com/timesmachine/1939/07/16/94704474.html?pageNumber=137
  4. ^ http://s-media.nyc.gov/agencies/lpc/lp/0709.pdf
Party political offices
First Republican nominee for U.S. Senator from New York
(Class 1)

1916, 1922
Succeeded by
Alanson B. Houghton
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Robert Baker
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 6th congressional district

Succeeded by
Frederick W. Rowe
U.S. Senate
Preceded by
James A. O'Gorman
U.S. senator (Class 1) from New York
Served alongside: James W. Wadsworth Jr.
Succeeded by
Royal S. Copeland