"Stopped Clock" Proverb & Washington Irving

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Tue Apr 13 05:20:40 UTC 2004

----- Original Message -----
From: "Fred Shapiro" <fred.shapiro at YALE.EDU>
fWhat is the earliest citation findable
> for the proverb "even a stopped clock is right twice a day" or variants
> thereof?
f> Fred Shapiro

1932 for the exact quote.
1923 for "he who always gets in wrong is like a stopped clock--right just
twice in 24 hours."

   I'm away from the NYU databases right now...8:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. today,
with a half-hour lunch, in a room with a stopped clock (hasn't worked for
years) and no air and no fire exit..

Author: Irving, Washington, 1783-1859.
Title: A history of New York, from the beginning of the world to the end of
the Dutch dynasty, by Diedrich Knickerbocker.
Publication date: 1871.
Collection: Making of America Books
Pg. 307:  The clock that stands still points right twice in the
four-and-twenty hours, while others may keep going continually and be continually going

Author: Bombaugh, Charles Carroll, 1828-1906.
Title: Gleanings for the curious from the harvest-fields of literature. A
melange of excerpta, collated by C. C. Bombaugh.
Publication date: [etc., etc.] 1875.
Collection: Making of America Books
Pg. 824:  The clock that stands still, points right twice in the
four-and-twenty hours; while others may keep going continually, and be continually going

New Books on Medicine: pp. 195-212
p. 200 1 match of 'clock', 1 match of 'right twice' in: Title:  The North
American review. / Volume 93, Issue 192
Publisher:  University of Northern Iowa Publication Date:   July 1861
City:   Cedar Falls, Iowa, etc. Pages:  612 page images in vol.
   The hands of the motionless clock point right twice in the day.

Print Source:   Gilead, or, The vision of All Souls' Hospital
Smith, J. Hyatt
7th thousand.:  Buffalo : Breed, 1863.
Pg. 215:  Nay, quoth Truthful, for a bad professor is always false, whilsta
clock run down is right twice in twenty-four hours.

Adams Sentinel - 7/22/1862
...wrong. A CLOCK that dors not go at all is RIGHT TWICE in twentyfour hours.
We should.....from the.carth between four arid five o'CLOCK had not ascended
more than three'or..
Gettysburg, Pennsylvania Tuesday, July 22, 1862  1051 k

Blairsville Press - 3/4/1869
...i; CLOCK i (..nit does not go at al is RIGHT TWICE in Hie 1 vvenly-fijiir
submits.....Washington was almost the only gentleman by RIGHT of birth in
allthat astonishing company.....Studies Thomas Corwi n was a wagoner; Silas RIGHT,
by heritage, a machinist. In later.....God intended us to. is our privilege,
our RIGHT, and our duty. helps those who help..
Blairsville, Pennsylvania Thursday, March 04, 1869  749 k

Kokomo Tribune - 3/30/1871
...wrong; a CLOCK that docs not go at all, RIGHT TWICE in twenty-four hours.
I Jut it is.....of an enlightened people, must and will RIGHT themselves in
this wrong. The idea that.....At Hamburg, it makes close connections, TWICE a
day, for St. Joseph, Lcaveuworlh.....jucstion before the people whatever. .The
RIGHT to cast (hi; kind of a Voti.-, must be..
Kokomo, Indiana Thursday, March 30, 1871  1034 k

Saint Joseph Herald - 3/9/1872
...is said that a CLOCK that stands still is RIGHT TWICE every twenty-four
hours.-while.....and lie made a mistake and was his father RIGHT This was the
question ho asked himself.....extirpation, to go over the tree once or TWICE a
year with the knife and flexible wire.....being able to get out the room. At
eleven o'CLOCK last nighi we had enough of it to..
Saint Joseph, Michigan Saturday, March 09, 1872  1429 k

Oakland Evening Tribune - 6/9/1874
...wrong, a CLOCK that (loos not go at all is RIGHT TWICE in twenty-four
hours. Brown.....In bouses not built In this way, should get RIGHT out and turn
them round. They nre an..
Oakland, California Tuesday, June 09, 1874  309 k

Defiance Democrat - 7/18/1878
...wrong. A CLOCK that lues not go at, all, is RIGHT TWICE iii the
,vvenly-four hours.....too early and sometimes just in the RIGHT ;ime, instead of always
and everywhere.....tb is her only train. She kissed us nil TWICE over when
the lackmuii arrived at the.....for another bottle, which fixed me all RIGHT,
giving me relief from the llrst doao..
Defiance, Ohio Thursday, July 18, 1878  792 k

Decatur Daily Review - 10/14/1879
...in this ease will be TWICE and to its RIGHT TWICE to sec the show, and I'd
like to said.....all the performers drink. Call at eleven o'CLOCK to-morrow
morning, and I will sec what.....i nearest and most intimate friends may all
RIGHT soon, Smith said. The fact is, i not.....foreign parents do, and i to the
left and RIGHT of him to be a confirmed opium user. It..
Decatur, Illinois Tuesday, October 14, 1879  844 k

Trenton Evening Times - 3/12/1891
...DON'T RUN AT ALL Is sure to be absolutely CORRECT TWICE a day, but it la
much better.....at No. Ml Pern street this afternoon at o'CLOCK. At Sheriff's
sale ye.sterday the.....of the Elgin Factory, which Is sure to be CORRECT
whenever you look at It, ELEGANT.....railroad, which left Danville at 12 o'CLOCK,
was derailed three miles out. The..
Trenton, New Jersey   Thursday, March 12, 1891  691 k

Indiana County Gazette - 11/20/1895
...wrong; a CLOCK that does not go at all is RIGHT TWICE in the hours. DOjNT
PUT Off.....tacles preserve the eyes if yon get z tbe RIGHT kind. A pair of
spectacles fitted to.....baiifls of brigiitred braid j ctin-r s.z RIGHT nrsjrlfs
CD< fcrrac.s sonares. Th t..
Indiana, Pennsylvania Wednesday, November 20, 1895  834 k

Daily Northwestern - 2/22/1900
...RIGHT only once a year, or a CLOCK that Is RIGHT TWICE every day? The you
reply.....once. you say, 'but what's the of toeing RIGHT TWICE a day if I
can't tell when the.....to eight o'CLOCK, don't you nee that the CLOCK is RIGHT at
eight o'CLOCK? Consequently.....when elpht CLOCK Is RIGHT. 'Yea. you reply.
Very good..
Oshkosh, Wisconsin Thursday, February 22, 1900  971 k

Daily Herald - 3/13/1900
...of CLOCKs. Is tbe best, a CLOCK that is RIGHT only TWICE a year, or a
CLOCK that is.....Ah, you say, 'what's the use of its being RIGHT TWICE a day, if
1 can't tell when tbe.....points to 8 o'CLOCK, don't you see tbat the CLOCK is
RIGHT at 8 o'CLOCK? Consequently.....when 8 o'CLOCK comes your CLOCK is RIGHT
'Yes, I see you reply. good..
Delphos, Ohio Tuesday, March 13, 1900  1076 k

Mountain Democrat - 3/31/1900
...RIGHT only onre IL year, or n dock that la RIGHT TWICE every day? latter.
jlore Tommy.....doa''t you see that CLOCK la. RIGHT at S o'CLOCK? Consequently
when 8 'j'CLOCK comes.....your CLOCK Is RIGHT I you reuly. Very then
you've.....or two on SinCan Ilnvv II. .haughtily -says TWICE a If 1 can't tel when the
iTme c Why..
Placerville, California Saturday, March 31, 1900  572 k

Mountain Democrat - 3/31/1900
...RIGHT only once a year, or a CLOCK that Is RIGHT TWICE every day? "The
latter." you.....8 o'CLOCK, don't you see that the CLOCK is RIGHT at 8 o'CLOCK?
Consequently when 8 o.....as the time It points round, which happens TWICE 0.
day. So you've contradicted yourself.....CLOCK comes your CLOCK Is RIGHT. "Yes,
I see you reply. Very..
Placerville, California Saturday, March 31, 1900  452 k

Daily Northwestern - 12/1/1902
...Is like a rundown CLOCK. It la absolutely RIGHT TWICE a day and absolutely
wrong at all.....Representative Baacock may be very nearly RIGHT wbesi be
snyn-the people accord tbe for.....The fire was returned and the boy was TWICE
hlt.beIng fatally wounded, but he.....DAILY. Published at Four and Five o'CLOCK
every afternoon except Sunday, by The..
Oshkosh, Wisconsin Monday, December 01, 1902  1043 k

Stevens Point Journal - 5/22/1909
...they arc putting A STORED CLOCK IS RIGHT TWICE A DAY..
Stevens Point, Wisconsin Saturday, May 22, 1909  748 k

Bridgeport Telegram - 9/28/1918
...you ready? 'And the court house CLOCK is RIGHT TWICE a day, anyway. o
Another sassy.....eager ones, however, are attempting to work RIGHT through but
this little camouflage will.....tomorrow? the matter with the court house CLOCK?
1 The British are having an early.....of Booze. The evening topic, Is It Ever
RIGHT to Keep Bad Company? Bctliany Church..
Bridgeport, Connecticut Saturday, September 28, 1918  823 k

Woodland Daily Democrat - 8/9/1921
...wrong a CLOCK which does not go at all Is RIGHT TWICE in 24 hours. J.
Langford. THE.....be crowded into this page. SALE STARTS 9 O'CLOCK THURSDAY HOUSE
Woodland, California Tuesday, August 09, 1921  540 k

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