Shutdown Furloughs Mean Capitol's "Ohio Clock" Stops Ticking

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The drip, drip, drips of government shutdown talks are no longer being measured by the tick-tock-tick of the Capitol's most famous clock. Even it has fallen victim to partisan gridlock.

People look toward the Ohio Clock outside the Senate Chamber on Capitol Hill Thursday, Oct. 10, 2013, in Washington. AP Photo/ Evan Vucci

The Ohio Clock has stood watch over the Senate for 196 years. It stopped running shortly after noon Wednesday.

Employees in the Office of the Senate Curator ordinarily wind the clock weekly. But they are among the thousands of federal employees furloughed under the partial shutdown.

The Secretary of the Senate's Office says that only curator employees can work on the clock, given its fragility.

No one knows why the handsome clock is named for Ohio. Starting in 1817 it stood in the old Senate chamber. Since 1859 it has held its current post outside the modern-day chamber's south door.

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