E. Howard & Co. Model No. 5-Square bottom wall timepiece or "Banjo clock."

This Model No. 5 – Square (bottom) was included in the 1858 E. Howard clock catalog and was originally marketed for use in homes and offices. Both Howard & Davis and then the E. Howard Clock Company manufactured this model. The vast majority of the examples seen today are signed by the Howard & Davis firm. Very few are found signed by E. Howard Clock Company. Based on the construction of the clock, this clock must have been made shortly after the succession of the Howard & Davis firm in to the E. Howard firm 1858.

This Model No. 5-Square is constructed on the Model No 5 (Standard) dimensions. This example is considered unusual in that the bottom section of the case is constructed with a square box as compared to the more common example which features rounded sides. It appears that very few of these square bottom clocks were originally produced as compared to the rounded versions. The model No. 5 is the smallest example of five separate banjo models that were manufactured by this firm. This model measures 29 inches long, 10.25 inches wide in the lower box and just under 4 inches deep. The dial is approximately 7 inches in diameter. The other four models this company offered were constructed on a graduating scale. The largest of the 5 models is cataloged as the No. 1 Regulator. This regulator is approximately 50 inches in length, 20 inches wide across the lower box and features a 12 inch diameter dial. All of the models are traditionally constructed in cherry wood and grained with ink to simulate the vibrant pattern found in rosewood.

This is an excellent example. The movement is made of brass and is excellent quality. It is mounted to the case from the back with a single screw. The brass plate retain their original damascene design. The front plate of this clock is not die-stamp as is the case with most of the clocks that share this form. The works are weight powered and designed with a recoil escapement. This clock is considered an accurate time keeper for its’ small size. The pendulum hangs from a bridge that is mounted to the top of movement. The pendulum is constructed with a wooden rod. The lead bob is cover in brass and its’ motion can be viewed through the opening in the lower tablet. The brass bob retains much of its’ original damascene decoration. The zinc dial measures approximately 7 inches in diameter. The dial graphics are printed on paper and it is applied to the zinc pan. This dial is signed in script lettering by the Maker. The working location is printed in block. It reads, "E. Howard & Co. / BOSTON." The case is constructed in cherry and retains much of its’ original grain painted decoration. The applied ink pattern simulates the grain exhibited in rosewood. The glasses are reverse painted in the traditional Howard & Davis colors of black and gold. The black fields have been restored. The gold appears to be in original condition. The center of tri-circle in the lower glass is left undecorated. Through this clear section one can view the brass faced bob. The pendulum swings in front of a wooden weight board the separates it from the weight.

This fine clock was made circa 1858.

About Edward Howard of Boston, Massachusetts.

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 clock apprenticeship under the guidance of Aaron Willard Jr in Boston. The Howard & Davis firm made high-grade clocks, precision balances, sewing machines, fire engines, watches. After the dissolution of Howard and Davis, Edward Howard became Boston’s leading manufacturer of weight-driven residential, commercial, and tower clocks. Howard also sold a large number of watchman and salve clock systems. These sold well in the late 1800s.

It has been said that the E. Howard Clock company never made an inexpensive clock, and 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 Edward Howard and his various businesses, please read “Willard’s Patent Time Pieces” written by Paul Foley.


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