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History | Lukens Clock Factory

The Lukens Clock Factory

The following is taken from Craven's History of Horsham.

Seneca Lukens had a shop near his home on the west side 16 Easton Road just north of Maple Avenue, where he made fine grandfather clocks.

Isaiah Lukens, the son of Seneca, was born August 24, 1779, in Horsham, where he received but a common English education, but by subsequent diligent study he acquired a profound knowledge of the sciences. He learned clock-making from his father, and the excellency of the workmanship of his high-standing clocks, spreading far beyond the circle of his neighborhood, formed the basis of his future reputation. He made the clock of Loller Academy, Hatboro', in 1812, and the large clock in the State-House steeple in 1839, for which he received five thousand dollars.
In early youth his mechanical skill exhibited itself in constructing wind-mills for pumping water, and air-guns of improved construction, besides other ingenious applicances. While a young man he made a voyage to Europe, spending some time in England, France and Germany, in visiting the greatest objects of interest, particularly those involving a high degree of mechanical knowledge. He finally settled in Philadelphia, and became a member of its several literary and scientific institutions, and was one of the founders and a vice-president of the Franklin Institute. He died in the city November 12, 1864, in age the youngest of the family16.
photo of mechanism behind Loller Academy Clock

Isaiah became well known for his accurate timepieces after he started his own business in Philadelphia. He made the clock for Loller Academy in Hatboro, Pa. in 1812. (The Loller Clock was recently restored and rededicated on New Year's Eve 2015) In 1825 he received the sum of $50 for the clock for Germantown Academy.

He is best known for his clock made for the new steeple of Independence Hall in 1828. In 1876 the clock was removed to the Town Hall in Germantown, and in 1924, it was incorporated in the new Municipal Building of Germantown. In 1907 an old resident of Horsham bought two of Isaiah Luken’s clocks for 10 cents apiece.

For years the chimney of the Clock Factory, as Seneca Luken’s shop was called, stood along Easton Road, long after the Lukens family closed the business. In the first decade of this (20th) century, the chimney was torn down and the stone hauled away to be used as building material. (note - this would today be on the grounds of the Willow Grove Naval Air Station)

Elizabeth Graeme Fergusson lived with Seneca Lukens in the last years of her life after moving from Graeme Park.

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Loller Clock Movement
close up view of the movement behind the face of the Isaiah Lukens 1812 Loller Academy Clock
photo of mechanism behind Loller Academy Clock
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The Future of Horsham's Past
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