Clock Makerk

Jacob Möllinger. As a Mennonite craftsman

The practice of a handicraft was usually not permitted to the mennonites. In the year 1717 they placed a request with the Elector’s Prince to release it from the laws at which it opposed the practice of a handicraft. The application was rejected. It is amazing that still associated to a Mennonite church Branchweilerhof a clock maker could settle in Neustadt. He must have had a special permit by the elector. Jakob Möllinger was born on 4 December 1695 in Dühren by Sinsheim A.D. Elsenz and died on 17 January 1763 in Neustadt. In Frankenthal he probably learned the craft of clock making. After 1721 he moved to the Branchweilerhof. In 1727 he acquired the property in Neustadt the Anwesen Hintergasse 26, which still stands today. Möllinger had six sons, who like their father worked as clock makers. But none achieved the skills of their father. His clocks are widespread and even went to the USA. There is still one from Branchweilerhof from the year 1754. Möllinger employed up to ten men. From his workshop the two following clocks were crafted. The “Altpörtel” in Speyer, as well as the clock of the Trinity church in Worms. (The latter is now in the Museum of Worms). When Jacob Möllinger died after a rich life of recognition and success, his widow continue operating the workshop until 1787. The son Johannes was the official watchmaker of the Earl of Wartemberg. Jacob Möllinger brother Joseph also operate in Neustadt as a clock maker, where he was called to be the head clock maker to the Duke of Zweibrücken.

Another brother David Möllinger (1709-1786) was an extraordinarily successful farmer in Monsheim, and was called the “Father of the Palatinate agriculture”.


Clock from the workshop Möllinger.