E. Howard & Co., Boston, Massachusetts. Model No. 60 with 4 jar mercury compensating pendulum. Made for Edward P. Lyon of Bethel, Maine.

This very impressive wall clock was made by the E. Howard & Company of Boston, Massachusetts. This clock is cataloged as the Model Number 60. It was originally offered in three choices of wood. They are oak, walnut or cherry. This example is constructed in walnut and retains its original finish. The color and tones are outstanding.

This outstanding example, like most big Howard regulators, is not an easy model to locate. Very few large Howard clocks come onto the public marketplace. Today the are very desirable and eagerly sought out by a number of serious collectors. This model in the 1880’s, would have sold for approximately $250. In comparison, the E. Howard model No. 5 banjo sold for $20.

This is a large wall clock. It measures approximately 6 feet 8 inches long. At the upper molding it is 27.25 inches wide and measures 12.25 inches deep. The top of this case is surmounted with a fancy crest. It features many carved decorations in the form of swags and fans. The crest centers a single turned and carved wooden finial. The long door forms the front of the case. It is fitted with glass. This door is lettered “REGULATOR / MANUFACTURED / FOR / EDWARD P. LYON / BETHEL, MAINE / BY / THE E. HOWARD WATCH AND CLOCK CO. / BOSTON, MASS.” The sides of this door are trimmed with graceful moldings and accents. The sides of this case are also fitted with glass panels. This allows additional light to enter the case. These side panels are framed with robust moldings. Inside the case, the number 12 is die-stamped into the wood. The lower bracket is applied to the bottom of this case. The three wooden finials are turned and nicely carved. They are original to this clock. Through the large glass door one can view interior of the case. The backboard is nicely grained and is a lighter color due to the protection it receives from being inside the compartment. Mounted to the backboard is a wooden support for a large brass beat scale. The scale has been silvered and is original to this clock.

The brass dial measures 14 inches in diameter and has been treated or finished with a silver wash. This is the original dial and it features a traditional time format. This dial is also signed by the Maker.

The movement is constructed in brass and is typical E. Howard quality. It is secured to a cast bracket that is mounted to the case. Two large thumb screws secure the movement to the bottom of the bracket. These are located at the bottom of the movement and screw into the two lower movement posts. The plates of this movement heavily cast. The front plate is die-stamped by the maker. The mechanism is fitted with a deadbeat escapement having the pallet facings fitted with jewels. This movement also features maintaining power. The pendulum is suspended from the back bracket. The rod is made of steel. This rod supports a large a bracket that supports four metal jars. Each of these is filled with mercury. This is designed to compensate for changes in temperature. Four jars are used so the the surface area is increased. This accelerates the volume of mercury’s reaction to temperature changes more rapidly as compared to a single jar. This pendulum configuration would have been an additional charge on an already expensive clock. The upper frame is die-stamped with the pendulum number. The number is “345 3426 7.” “345” is the number that references this clock to Howard’s pendulum book. The second two numbers refer to the penny weight of mercury installed in the tubes. The clock movement is weight powered. A brass covered cylindrical weights is hung on the right side of the case and is attached to the cord with a large brass pulley. It is designed to run eight-days before it requires winding.

This very impressive wall timepiece was made circa 1885.

Edward P. Lyon was born in Bethel Maine on June 27, 1875. His parents were Abial B. and Ella (Verrill) Lyon. He had four other brothers. Edward was educated in Bethel but moved early on to the city of Auburn to learn the trade of clockmaking and goldsmithing. He stayed in Auburn 18 years before returning to his home town. There he purchased George T. Lawrence’s business located in the Hasting’s block in 1910. Here he operated as a jeweler and with in six years needed more space and moved to a larger store on the Cole Block. In 1913, he married married Miss Barbara Carter of Bethel. Their home was located in Kimball Park where they raised two daughters. He was a member of a number of organizations like the Bethel Lodge. He also enjoyed hunting and fishing in his free time. He is listed as dealing clocks, watches, jewelry and photographs. His shop carried various items including a complete line of ladies furnishings, gifts, souvenirs, books, Atwater Kent radios as well as his own original line of silver.

This fine wall regulator was originally ordered from the E. Howard Clock Company on April 2nd, 1886. It was made for A. B. Bruneau who was a jeweler that owned a shop in Fall River Massachusetts. His business was located at the No. 2 Granite Block in the city of Fall River. Here he is listed as trading in watches, clocks, jewelry and silverware as early as 1883. This jeweler sold out on August 30, 1899. It is my contention that this clock was sold off and Edward Lyon purchased it for use in his Bethel store. The name “A. B. Bruneau was removed from the glass and Edward Lyon had his name placed in that location. Based on the value of this clock, Edward Lyon was a successful businessman. This clock was constructed to keep very accurate time and was most likely used as a source for the local standard. Travelers along the Grand Trunk Railway, which past through Bethel, would have set their watches by this clock. With a introduction of this rail line, the town of Bethel became a rail hub for the local communities and was also a destination for travelers trying reach resorts like the Bethel House, the Anasagunticook House and the Prospect Hotel. The town of Bethel is located in the fertile valley of the Androscoggin River which provided excellent crop land and tall native trees. Numerous mills set up shop along the river suppling wood products for the manufacture of furniture. With all this activity, it attracted some very interesting people.

For a closer look at the town of Bethel, Maine, please visit the the historical society’s web page at: https://bethelhistorical.org/

The picture of Edward Lyon standing in front of his shop was provided by a member of the Bethel Historical Society.

About Edward Howard of Boston, Massachusetts.

The E. Howard Clock Company has an outstanding reputation for making high quality weight driven wall timepieces, standing regulators, public clocks and electro-mechanical master and watchman clocks.

The E. Howard & Company succeeded the Howard & Davis firm in 1857. The Howard and Davis firm was comprised of Edward Howard and David P. Davis and was established in 1842. Both men served their apprenticeship with Aaron Willard Jr of Boston. This firm was involved in watch and clock manufacturing since 1842. This firm also made high grade clocks, precision balances, sewing machines and fire engines. After the dissolution of Howard and Davis, Edward Howard went on to become Boston’s leading manufacture of weight driven clocks. This included residential clocks, commercial clocks and tower clocks. They also sold a large number of watchman and salve clock systems. These sold well in the late 1800’s.

It has been said that the E. Howard Clock company never made an inexpensive clock and that everything they made was of very good quality. As a result, Howard clocks have become very collectible and are prized by their owners. Today, the E. Howard clock name enjoys outstanding name recognition.

For a more in depth reading of E. Howard and his various businesses, please read “Willard’s Patent Time Pieces” written by Paul Foley.

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