Watches n’ Such

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  Jacob Guthart (also spelled Goodhart) (1779-1867) was born on February 25, 1779 near Reading, PA to Johannes and Magdalena Rightmeyer Guthart. He learned the clock making trade while apprenticing in Reading. He then moved to Lebanon and established a clock making and repair business and succeeded Jacob Graf (it is not clear if he bought Graf’s business or worked with him for a time before becoming an independent clockmaker.) After settling in Lebanon he married Elizabeth Uhler on February 21, 1808 and they had 10 children together. He operated his business out of his home that was located on the corner of Market Street and Spring Alley in Lebanon.

  He was the most multi-talented of all the Lebanon County clockmakers as proven by the fact that in addition to his clock making career he was also a surveyor, fireman and a noted politician. He had a lengthy and diverse political career. In 1813 when Lebanon became a county he was appointed Justice of the Peace and remained in that position for twenty years. He was elected to three consecutive terms in the Pennsylvania General Assembly where he served until 1818. In 1821 he was appointed as the Chief Burgess of Lebanon County and was paid a $5 per year salary. He served as the Lebanon County Treasurer from 1826 through 1829, and again in 1840. In 1842 he briefly served a second time as Lebanon’s Justice of the Peace.

  Many tall case clocks built by Guthart are known to have survived. One excellent example of his clock making workmanship is in a private collection in New Jersey (pictured below).

  When it came to the design of mechanical movements used in tall case clocks he was one of the cleverest of all the Lebanon County clockmakers. He used a little known mechanical mechanism in several of his clock movements called the J-Hook. This mechanism, which most likely originated in Switzerland and was used by a few other Pennsylvania clockmakers, is a uniquely modified rack hook that eliminates the need for a warning lever and pin as it initiates the stop and strike sequence of a clock movement.

   Jacob Guthart died in Lebanon, PA on August 22, 1867.


Read the Published article:

“BICENTENNIAL: Jacob Goodhart - From Clockmaker to Statesman”
 by Barbara West - Lebanon Daily News - 4-30-2013




Read the Published article:

“The Jacob Guthart J-Hook”
 by Ewin Sowers III, CMC - Clockmakers Newsletter - Sept. 2000, pp. 4-5


Guthart, Jacob (1779-1867) - (also spelled Goodhart)

White dial signed “Jacob Guthart” - Lebanon

Federal Style walnut tall case clock - Very colorful and ornately painted white dial - with a highly colorful moon phase dial as well.

Jacob Guthart movement featuring the J-Hook design – Photo courtesy of Edwin U. Sowers III, CMC of Lebanon, PA.


Eight day English bell movement signed by Jacob Guthart.

Solid Cherry tall case clock (95 inches tall) – traditional Germanic style case - four turned feet – the white dial has four painted flower designs and is signed ‘Jacob Guthart, Lebanon’ (circa 1835) - Photo courtesy of Jim Beaugard of New Jersey.

Walnut tall case clock (92 inches tall) featuring matching inlays of the truck and base

Federal style Mahogany tall case clock - featuring extraordinary wood grains (old growth) with bracket feet and three turned finials - (circa 1830)

Cherry tall case clock - featuring turned finials and an 8 day brass movement with a seconds hand feature - (circa 1840) - Courtesy of Henry Smith Sr.

Cherry tall case clock - featuring turned finials and fluted columns - (circa 1840) - Courtesy of Henry Smith Sr.

Cherry tall case clock - featuring a Tiger Maple Dial Door frame - (circa 1840) - Courtesy of Henry Smith Sr.

Cherry tall case clock - featuring recessed panels and turned edge columns in the trunk section- (circa 1840) - Courtesy of Henry Smith Sr.

Cherry tall case clock - featuring recessed pilasters and a long waist door with a curved top section - (circa 1840) - Courtesy of Henry Smith Sr.

Cherry tall case clock - featuring original weights and pendulum with a  horizontally placed pine back - (circa 1840) - Courtesy of Henry Smith Sr.

Cherry tall case clock - featuring the original 8 day brass movement (left side view) - (circa 1840) - Courtesy of Henry Smith Sr.

Cherry tall case clock - featuring the original 8 day brass movement (top left side view) - (circa 1840) - Courtesy of Henry Smith Sr.

Cherry tall case clock - recessed panels on the sides of the trunk - (circa 1840) - Courtesy of Henry Smith Sr.

Cherry tall case clock - recessed panels on the sides of the trunk - (left side view) -  (circa 1840) - Courtesy of Henry Smith Sr.

Jacob Guthart - Walnut Tall Case Clock - circa 1840 - Movement and Dial mounted on the Case View -  from a Private Collection in the Lebanon, PA area

Jacob Guthart - Walnut Tall Case Clock - circa 1840 - False Plate and Movement View -  from a Private Collection in the Lebanon, PA area


Jacob Guthart - Walnut Tall Case Clock - circa 1840 - Front Movement View -  from a Private Collection in the Lebanon, PA area


Jacob Guthart - Walnut Tall Case Clock - circa 1840 - Full Dial View -  from a Private Collection in the Lebanon, PA area


Jacob Guthart - Walnut Tall Case Clock - circa 1840 - Full Front View -  from a Private Collection in the Lebanon, PA area


Jacob Guthart - Walnut Tall Case Clock - circa 1840 - Right Side Movement View -  from a Private Collection in the Lebanon, PA area


Jacob Guthart - Walnut Tall Case Clock - circa 1840 - Signature on Dial View -  from a Private Collection in the Lebanon, PA area


Jacob Guthart - Walnut Tall Case Clock - circa 1840 - Top Bonnet View -  from a Private Collection in the Lebanon, PA area


Jacob Guthart - Maple and Tiger Maple Tall Case Clock - circa 1825 - Dial View - Private Lebanon, PA Collection

Jacob Guthart - Maple and Tiger Maple Tall Case Clock - circa 1825 - Full View - Private Lebanon, PA Collection


Jacob Guthart - Maple and Tiger Maple Tall Case Clock - circa 1825 - Left Side Movement View - Private Lebanon, PA Collection


Jacob Guthart - Maple and Tiger Maple Tall Case Clock - circa 1825 - Left Side Suspension - Movement View - Private Lebanon, PA Collection


Jacob Guthart - Maple and Tiger Maple Tall Case Clock - circa 1825 - Left Side Suspension - Movement View - Private Lebanon, PA Collection


Jacob Guthart - Maple and Tiger Maple Tall Case Clock - circa 1825 - Waste and Weights View - Private Lebanon, PA Collection