For more than two centuries, the Ohio Clock has been a landmark on Capitol Hill. It has kept time and been a witness to history since 1817 from its prominent location just outside the main entrance of the U.S. Senate.
Senator David Daggett commissioned the 11-foot tall mahogany clock in 1815. It was originally located outside the Old Senate Chamber before being moved to its current site opposite the south-facing door of the modern Senate chamber. It’s often seen today in the background when Senate leaders hold news conferences in the corridor just off the Senate floor.
How the Ohio Clock got its name is a mystery. Sen. Daggett was from Connecticut, not Ohio, and the clockmaker who built it, Thomas Voigt, was from Philadelphia. The shield on the clock’s case has 17 stars, and some speculated that the clock was meant to commemorate Ohio’s admission to the Union as the 17th state. But Senate historians say there’s no evidence of that, and Sen. Daggett’s 1815 letter commissioning the clock makes no mention of Ohio.
How the clock got its moniker may be a mystery, but we knew it was the perfect name for our blog. That’s because BakerHostetler was founded in Ohio in 1916, and members of our Federal Policy team, which includes former lawmakers and senior congressional staff, would walk by the Ohio Clock nearly every day on Capitol Hill.
So welcome to the Ohio Clock blog, where we hope to keep you updated on major congressional developments, allowing you – like the Ohio Clock – to be a witness to history.
History of the Ohio Clock from Roll Call: