E. Howard & Co., Boston, Massachusetts. The Model No. 5 banjo clock.
This attractive timepiece is called the Model Number 5 and was made by the E. Howard & Company of Boston, Massachusetts.
The E. Howard & Company offered five sizes of this very popular banjo form. This example is the smallest of the five and is the most commonly found. The largest size is called the Model Number 1.
This Number 5 size has very pleasing proportions measuring approximately 29 inches long. The case is constructed in cherry and this example retains it's original grain painted decoration. (Howard banjo clock cases were originally grained with india ink in order to simulate the rich look of the grain found in rosewood.) The frames and lower board are stamped "100" by the cabinetmaking shop. The frames are also fitted with reverse painted tablets or glasses. This design of black, gold and red are formatted in the traditional E. Howard color combinations. The glasses in this example have been professionally restored. The movement is made of brass and is excellent quality. It is weight driven and has a recoil escapement. It is a very accurate time keeper for it's small size. The movement is die stamped on the front plate, "E. Howard & Company, Boston." The painted iron dial measures seven inches in diameter. It is signed in a script letter format. The original weight is cast in iron. The brass bob features a ring turned design. It is supported by the original wooden rod. Remnants of the Maker's set up label remains inside the case pasted to the bottom board.
This clock was made circa 1870. It is inventory number 216061.
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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