Howard & Davis Model No.3 wall clock. The lower door frame is stamped on the inside with the initials, " U.S.L.H.E." This stands for the United States Light House Establishment.
The U. S. Lighthouse Service is known to have purchased a number of clocks from Howard & Davis, the E. Howard & Company, the Chelsea Clock Company and the Seth Thomas Clock Company in order to install in their properties. A number of these clocks were put into service in the lighthouses and were used by the lighthouse keepers. A small number the clocks that the Service purchased are identifiable by a stamping inside the case or often times the lower tablet was lettered at the factory. Being able to identify a clock as having served in the Service adds to the interest and the collectabilty of a particular example.
The United States Light House Establishment (USLHE) was created and operated under the the Department of Treasury in 1789. Shortly thereafter, all U. S. lighthouse ownership was transferred to the government. The twelve lighthouses that existed at the time and were operated by individual states. These were taken over and their cost of maintenance was now the responsibility of the Treasury.
This Model No. 3 wall timepiece or banjo clock is nicely proportioned measuring 3 feet 2 inches long. The case is constructed in cherry and retains its faux graining. The graining is added on Howard & Davis banjo clocks. It is Indian ink that is said to have been applied with a feather at the factory. This decorative treatment is concentrated on the frames and provides the cherry case the appearance of being built in rosewood. The finish is quite good and is original to this example. The zinc dial measures 9 inches in diameter. The dial is signed by the Makers in the appropriate location. Behind this dial, the case is fitted with a weight driven movement. This is mounted to the case with a single screw. The heavy plates are slightly tapered, narrowing at the top. The weight is cast iron. The pendulum rod is made of seasoned cherry and retains its original black paint. The bob is zinc covered in brass. This swings in front of a brass swing indicator that is mounted on to a wooden weight board. Both painted tablets are original to this clock and are in very good original condition. This clock was made circa 1850.This clock is inventory number 216097.
About Howard & Davis of Boston, Massachusetts.
The Howard & Davis firm was formed in Boston, Massachusetts by Edward Howard and David Potter Davis some time in 1842. This partnership lasted approximately ten years. In 1844 through 1847, Luther S. Stephenson joined the partnership which was then called Stephenson, Howard & Davis. It is now currently thought that the Howard & Davis name was not used until after Stephenson left. It is reported that both Howard and Davis served their apprenticeship in clockmaking to Aaron Willard Jr. of Roxbury, Massachusetts. Together, they built a reputation for building very high quality items which included in addition to various forms of clocks, fire pumpers, postal or balance scales, and other measuring devices. In 1856, the Howard and Davis firm dissolved yet Howard continued to use the name until 1857. It appears David Davis continued the business alone at a location on 15 Washington Street. Edward Howard formed the E. Howard Clock Company and enjoyed many prosperous years making clocks and latter watches until he retired in 1881.
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