Speaker Nicholas Longworth’s gavel is the oldest example in the House Collection. The eyebolt on the handle’s end was handy for hanging the gavel on a nail when it wasn’t in use. Beginning at the turn of the century, gavels were made in the Capitol, and Speakers expected to use many over the course of a lively congressional session. The wear marks on this example indicate that it was a hardworking tool. Longworth signed the mallet’s head, probably when he presented it as a souvenir.