On the second floor of the Capitol Building stands a grandfather clock that had garnered a lot of attention in the news about the Countdown to a potential Government Financial default and counting up of the days since the Federal Government has shut down and “non-essential” workers remain at home. During this Debt Ceiling Limit and Government Budget showdown, the so-called Ohio Grandfather Clock made by Thomas Voigt actually stopped running, and that was a euphemism to many that our Government was indeed broken. The Senate purchased the clock in 1815 from Thomas Voigt. The rumor is that the clock was meant to celebrate Ohio joining the Country because the clock has 17 stars and Ohio was the 17th state to join. However, there is no proof that the rumor is true and the clock was ordered 12 years later when there were 18 states in the Union. The big, wide Senate hall just outside the back of the Senate Chamber, on the second floor of the Capitol, attracts dozens of reporters every Tuesday around lunchtime.
Democrats meet privately in a room on the far right (as one walks away from the president’s room) while Republicans meet around the corner. Arrive around 12:30 p.m. to get senators as they go in, then leave around 1:15 p.m. Come back at 1:45 and get ’em as they go out.
The more in-demand senators will go to special microphones to the right of the clock around 2:15. Be sure to bring a tape recorder.
The Ohio Clock, standing in what is now known in the Capitol as the Ohio Clock Corridor, is an imposing grandfather’s clock opposite the main doors of the chamber, is often cited as a place to meet sources — easy to find, easy to remember.
The government shutdown was ironic from the moment it began — It all happened over the health care law, which started registration the moment the government shut down at midnight on Oct. 1.
Over the days since, the United States has witnessed a variety of strange consequences. Here is s a look at the weirdest effects of the shutdown, from a panda cam going dark to the hands on a historic Senate clock frozen in place to bored Congressional workers.
Clock hands ‘frozen’ in place
Credit: U.S. Senate
The hands of the Senate’s historic Ohio Clock are frozen at 12:14, according to NBC News. The curators tasked to wind the 11-foot-tall (3.4 meters) clock have been furloughed, last winding the clock on Sept. 30.
Despite its name and the shield with 17 stars on the front of it, the clock is not meant to celebrate the 17th state Ohio’s statehood, according to the U.S. Senate. In 1815, Sen. David Daggett of Connecticut ordered the clock from clockmaker Thomas Voigt. Though Sen. Daggett gave fairly detailed instructions about the clock’s appearance, he didn’t mention anything about it commemorating Ohio or how many stars should be placed on the shield.
“The dial to be about two feet in diameter, an hour, minute and second hand, a Spread Eagle on the top and the United States arms at foot. We wish it good and handsome and expect to pay accordingly,” read the order for the clock, according to the U.S. Senate website.