9 Center Square P.O. Box 235
New Oxford, Pa. 17350


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Wilmington, Delaware Tall Case Clock by Jacob Alrich

Signed: Jacob Alrich (1775-1857)
8-day movement with moon dial.
Case attributed to John Erwin (1727-1797) or James Erwin (w. 1797-1799)
Circa 1795
Mahogany, poplar
H: 92”; W: 21”; D: 9”

Jacob Alrichs (1775–1857), machinist and clockmaker, was a resident of Wilmington, Delaware, who learned the watchmaking business from his uncle Jonas Alrichs. After the latter’s death in 1802, Alrichs took over the family jewelry concern and began a machine business in a short-lived partnership with Samuel McClary. By 1810 Alrichs formed a partnership with machinist Isaac Dixon that manufactured cotton machines under the name of Alrichs & Dixon. In 1820 one of Alrichs’s firms supplied the Wilmington fire department with its first engine. He was active in Wilmington’s civic life, serving as a director of the Spring Water Company (1803), assistant burgess (1805), city councillor (1810–23), director of the Bank of Wilmington and Brandywine (1815), and state senator (1830). Alrichs was a member of the Abolition Society of Delaware, attended a national antislavery conference in Philadelphia in 1806, and belonged to the African School Society. In 1841 he was appointed deputy postmaster at Wilmington, and four years later he patented a door latch. He was buried in the Friends Burial Grounds in Wilmington.

Nice example from a rare maker.