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"Ohio" Clock: What's in a Name?

The "Ohio" Clock

The "Ohio" Clock

The Senate purchased this clock in 1815 from clockmaker Thomas Voigt. It has stood in or near the Senate Chamber ever since. Today it is a popular location for press conferences.


The Rumor

The carved shield on the "Ohio" Clock.

The carved shield on the "Ohio" Clock.

People often think that the clock was meant to commemorate Ohio's admission to the Union as the 17th state because the shield on the front of the clock's case has 17 stars in it.

The Truth!

There is no record that shows the clock celebrates Ohio's statehood. In fact, the clock was ordered 12 years after Ohio became a state, at a time when there were already 18 U.S. states.

How Do We Know the Truth?


Myths: Did you know?
The "Ohio" Clock was first used in the temporary Senate chamber in the "Old Brick Capitol," where Congress met from 1815-1818, after the U.S. Capitol was burned by British troops during the War of 1812.

Myths: Just a Coincidence?
Ohio Senator Mark Hanna standing in front of the "Ohio" clock, 1897