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The national debt clock began in 1989 by a New York real estate developer named Seymour Durst. The clock is a large sized display, approximately the same size as a billboard that is affixed on Sixth Avenue in Manhattan. The clock is a seven segment indicator or seven segment display that is used to show decimal numbers. It is similar to the reading of numbers on a digital clock. Not only does the national debt clock show how much debt the nation is incurring, but lets Americans realize how much their family contributes to it.
The original debt clock’s founder, Seymour Durst, passed away in 1995. After his passing, his son, Douglas Durst, became president of the Durst Organization. The Durst Organization owns and maintains the clock to this day. The clock has undergone several upgrades over the years. The first clock was established, but when the national debt began improving, approximately 11 years after it was erected, the clock began operating backwards. Feeling that this was not drawing attention to the rising problem of debt, but rather giving messages that the economy was stable, the clock was unplugged and covered for several years.
In July of 2002, the clock was uncovered and once again revealed. The debt, beginning at 6.1 trillion dollars, continued to rise. By 2004, the clock was replaced with another model; only this one was installed at the Durst Building, where it resides today. When debt rose to a staggering $10 trillion dollars on September 30, 2008, the new clock ran out of digits. There are plans underway to update the national debt clock with two additional digits to ensure that it can handle the rising debt. To view the U.S. debt clock, without traveling to Manhattan, just click the link in the source box.