E. Howard & Co., Boston, MA. Model No. 8. "House and Counting-Room Clocks." The Figure 8 wall clock.

This very attractive wall clock is called the Model Number 8 or a Figure 8. It was manufactured by the E. Howard & Company of Boston, Massachusetts. They were originally marketed as being well suited for “House and Counting-Room Clocks.” Of the five E. Howard & Company Figure Eight forms, the No., 8 is not one of the more common sizes found. This figure eight form is always a favorite form of those who visit our shop.

The No. 8 is the middle size of five variations in form sizes. This example measures approximately 3 feet 8 inches long. The case is constructed in black walnut and retains 40 year old finish. The color is excellent. The front of this case serves double duty. It is also a door. Please note the applied flat moldings that trim the edges of the middle section. Most figure eight forms are flat in this location. The door is hinged and swings to the right. This door is fitted with glass. The upper glass is clear and through it, you are able to view the dial. The middle tablet or throat glass is decorated in black and gold paint from the back. The center section is left clear so that you can view the motion of the gilt wooden pendulum rod. The lower circular tablet is painted in the traditional E. Howard colors of black, red and gold. The center of this is also left clear in order to view the brass faced pendulum bob.

The heavy iron dial on this clock measures 11 inches in diameter and is in very good original condition. It is painted with a heavy coat of paint. The hours are indicated with Roman style figures. The Company name is signed below the center arbor in script lettering. It reads, “E. Howard & Co., / Boston.” This is an original signature.

The time is indicated in the traditional format. The hands are designed with open diamonds out on their ends. These are original to this clock.

The weight driven movement is constructed in brass and is good quality. The Maker’s name can be found die-stamped into the front plate in the upper left corner. The plates a quite heavy and are finely finished. This movement is designed with a recoil escapement. The pendulum is carefully suspended from the bridge which is mounted to the top of the movement. The rod is made from straight grain cherry. Before it was constructed the wood was appropriately seasoned gilded. It now retains this original treatment. The bob is zinc and covered with a brass jacket. The brass is decorated with a number of engraved concentric rings. Every other one is decorated with a damascene design. The original cast iron weight is powers the movement to run for 8 days on a full wind.

This clock was made circa 1875. This clock is inventory number 214112C.

Condition: The throat tablet retains its original gilt paint. The black has been restored. The lower tablet was repainted 30 plus years ago. The weight board is a replacement. This board not only provides a guide for the weight or protection for the pendulum, but is also used as a field of color for the pendulum to swing in front of. In this example, it is painted red. Weight boards are often replaced because originally they were constructed in pine and painted on one side. As a result, they have a tendency to wrap and crack. The bob has some discoloring in the center filed. The movement has been fully serviced and is in excellent working order. The photos were taken prior to this service.

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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