E. Howard & Co. Boston, Mass. Tambour shelf clock / mantel clock. Large - 63 inches across..
These large clocks, this one measuring an impressive 63 across, were intended to stand up on a partition, hang from a ceiling or even placed above a bank vault. Installed in any of these locations or displayed in a gallery, this clock makes a statement.
This very large and impressive example measures approximately 63 inches across across, 38.5 inches tall and 7.5 inches deep. The case is constructed in mahogany and retains an older finish. The basic shape is now refereed to as a "Tambour." This general form became very popular as a mantel clock in the 1900's. The common spring powered versions were made in significant numbers by the Connecticut clock companies. These were inexpensive and sold through a variety of retailers.
This handsome example was made by the E. Howard Clock Company of Boston, Massachusetts and was made with quality in mind. The dial is French plate glass that ia approximately .75 inches thick. The gold time ring, arabic hour numerals and Maker's name are painted on the back of the dial. This is also true of the black background. Due to the thickness of the glass, one gets a perception of depth when looking at the front of the dial. The time is read or indicated with two large hands. These are also painted with gold leaf. They are well formed and both are counter weighted. Behind the dial is where the movement is located.
This movement is constructed in brass, having large brass plates and gearing. The pinions and shafts are steel. The two plates are finished with a nickel wash. The front plate is die-stamped by the clockmaker. It is also numbered, "11 1/2." This movement is weight driven and wound with a key that passes through a hole in the dial. The original lead weight has been replaced with a suitable lead weight that is covered with sheathing and painted gold. The weight is compounded so that it will provide enough drop to run eight days on a full wind. This movement is fitted with a Geneva Stop Winding gear. This will prevent it from being over wound. The pendulum rod is made of wood. The brass covered lead bob is standard Howard issue. Because this clock has very limited access to the pendulum or more specifically the rating nut, an adjustment arm is fitted to the top of the pendulum above the bridge. This allows for external adjustment from outside the case.
This fine clock was made circa 1910. Most recently, this wonderful clock has been on display for a number of years in the office of a world famous Boston optometrist.
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 Paul Foley’s book, Willard’s Patent Time Pieces.
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