Out of money, out of time: 200-year-old clock stops ticking at U.S. Capitol due to government shutdown

By Ashley Collman

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If the government shutdown seems like it's been dragging on and on, imagine what it's like to be a Congressman and see that time has literally stopped inside the Capitol building.

That's because the Senate's 200-year-old Ohio Clock has ceased to tick.

The 11-foot tall clock is routinely wound by a team of curators, all of whom have been furloughed due to the current government shutdown.

No time in government shutdown: The 200-year-old Ohio Clock outside the Senate Chamber of the U.S. Capitol Building stopped ticking on Wednesday. Above, a picture of the frozen clock yesterday

No time in government shutdown: The 200-year-old Ohio Clock outside the Senate Chamber of the U.S. Capitol Building stopped ticking on Wednesday. Above, a picture of the frozen clock yesterday

The last time the clock was wound was on Monday, September 30 and the clock stopped ticking more than a week into the shutdown - on Wednesday October, 9 at 12:14pm.

The clock was designed in 1815 under the specifications of Senator David Dagget who asked for a clock with '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.'

Capitol furnishings: The Ohio Clock was constructed in 1815, and was originally put in the Old Senate Chmaber in 1817. Today it sits in a new location outside the new Senate Chamber

Capitol furnishings: The Ohio Clock was constructed in 1815, and was originally put in the Old Senate Chmaber in 1817. Today it sits in a new location outside the new Senate Chamber

In 1817, the clock took its place in the old Senate Chamber,

 
but was moved in 1859 to its current location just outside the modern Senate Chamber.

It's rumored that senators used to hide bottles of whiskey inside the clock.

Perhaps it was over sneaked liquor that the politicians were able to come together and keep the government running and funded. 

Then and now: Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Charles P Higgins turns the Ohio Clock for daylight savings time in 1918, left. Right, a modern picture of the clock
Then and now: Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Charles P Higgins turns the Ohio Clock for daylight savings time in 1918, left. Right, a modern picture of the clock

Then and now: Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Charles P Higgins turns the Ohio Clock for daylight savings time in 1918, left. Right, a modern picture of the clock

The comments below have not been moderated.

Frightening. How long until the entire administration is stuck on the pot with no toilet paper? Or stranded in a dark room until sunrise if a light bulb burns out? Assuming they can handle either of those scenarios on their own (which is up for debate), they can wind a damned clock. No matter whom you want to blame for this whole debacle, Obama comes out head and shoulders above the rest as being Child in Chief. This petulant clown needs to grow up, earn some respect, and lead.

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Michelle and Barack have more personal servants than any other president and first lady. Not one of them could wind a clock?

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Short on Dosh - Try "Wonga" loads of it to borrow................

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Sounds like the US government wastes a lot of money when they are able to..

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Well when you borrow 17 trillion dollars and have no way to repay, thats what happens.You end up totally in debt ,bankrupt really.And yet somehow they are supposed to be the worklds greatest superpower,and the global currency backbone.Totally in debt beyond belief with no convceivable way to pay?A superpower?Maybe if they hadnt have borrowed so mant trillions to buy weapons tio be the most lethal government in history they could afford to pay their people their wages.

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If you've got time to take a picture and write an article about the clock surly you've got enough time to wind it?

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Nice clock. It's a piece of your history so please treasure it

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Obama is too stupid to wind a clock. He is literally the most petty man ever to occupy the White House. A juvenile teenage girl would do better than this dangerous incompetent.

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I wonder if the security team that protects the Obama's family dog has been on furlough too. What a great system we have here, said no one with a brain ever.

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If they actually stopped taxing my check I might believe that our government had shut down. Oh yes, and stopped giving my tax money to people who don't work, sorry I missed the second half of not taxing my check.

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