West Wing Lobby clock

Visitor Jim writes:

Recently my wife was privileged to a White House tour. She was particularly interested in a “federal” (?) style clock on the wall in the West Wing Lobby, first floor (see attached pic. from your site). Can you tell us anything about the clock’s mfg., age, history, etc??

Anybody got any help for Jim?

4 thoughts on “West Wing Lobby clock

  1. As replied in the email,All I have is that it’s a gilded wood clock that was made in Massachusetts in 1810.

  2. When giving the WW tour I had always heard a story there were two clocks, the one there in the WW lobby and the other was in the basement of Bill Cosby’s house. Not sure if it were true or not, so I never told the story, but I heard plenty of other people, (usually younger staffers) who did.

  3. It’s a Simon Wilard gallery clock, circa 1810.

    Lots of rumors and unlikely stories about this one. The “Bill Cosby” story is one. Another popular story is that the mechanism is made of wood to avoid corrosion. Another is that the clock is present in the lobby as a symbol that this is a public space open to all people, in the same way that clocks were put in public squares centuries ago.

    I chalk all of these up to young staffers and interns repeating and embellishing upon each others’ stories.

  4. In the early nineteen sixties, my father(Sam Salz) gave a painting to the Kennedy White House titled “The Signing of The Declaration of Independence” by the French painter Edouard Armand Dumaresq. My father was never interested in the painting personally as art. It was part of a trade he made for another Impressionist work. The “Signing” hung in my room for a while on the fifth floor of our house on 76th Street in New York. My father was a lifelong Democrat and when John F. Kennedy was president, he decided to give the painting to the White House in thanks for a country that accepted him as he escaped WW2 Europe. Jacqueline Kennedy graciously accepted the piece and wrote him a thank you letter. I always wondered about what ever happened to that painting and through the wonders of Google(and Wikipedia) I have finally located where it now is in the White House. It’s in the Cabinet Room in the West wing. It was nice to have been a twelve(or eleven) year old boy sleeping beneath it for a short time.

    Marc Salz

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