Have you seen the famous Ohio Grandfather Clock in the US Capitol? Or one of the grandfather clocks in the Oval Office or elsewhere in The White House?
In Washington, D.C., on Capitol Hill, there are clocks everywhere. Every Congressional office suite, according to the Architect of the Capitol, has at least three clocks in it. There are around 4,000 clocks on the House side of the Hill, and just slightly less on the Senate side. There are fancy, old clocks, that need to be regularly wound; there are newer, decorative clocks that adorn the mantle clocks of legislators’ personal offices; and there are practical wall clocks, with wide white faces, that look a lot like the clocks in elementary school hallways and classrooms.
These thousands of clocks, though, don’t just tell the time. They are part of system more than a century old that sends signals, in a code of sounds and lights, to members of the House and Senate.
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