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Rumors: Tall Tales About Senate Art

Return to Myths Home

How Do We Know the Truth?

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

Historical Records

Order for the "Ohio" Clock, 1815

Order for the "Ohio" Clock, 1815

Senator David Daggett of Connecticut ordered the clock in 1815. Despite fairly detailed instructions about what the clock should look like, Senator Daggett did not mention anything about commemorating Ohio, or even 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."

Historical Documents

Reminiscence of Senate Doorkeeper Isaac Bassett

Reminiscence of Senate Doorkeeper Isaac Bassett

Isaac Bassett, the Senate employee who cared for the Senate Chamber (and this clock) during much of the 19th century, left a detailed manuscript of his experiences. Although he mentions the clock several times, he never calls it the "Ohio Clock." In fact, his and all other early references to the clock refer to it only as the "Senate Clock."