E. Howard & Co. Model No. 2, wall timepiece. Boston, Mass.

This attractive timepiece is cataloged as the Model Number 2 and was made by the E. Howard & Company of Boston, Massachusetts. It was originally cataloged as a “Bank, Office or School Clock.” Today, the public refers to it as a large “Banjo Clock.”

The E. Howard & Company offered five different sizes of this Banjo form. This example is second to the largest size of the five. The largest size is called the Model Number 1 Regulator and it measures 50 inches in length. The smallest example of the five is the Model Number 5 and it measures 29 inches long.

This Model Number 2 is the most difficult of the five Howard sized banjo clocks to find. It measures 3 feet 8 inches long. Traditionally, the Howard Clock Company constructed their banjo cases in cherry and decorated them or faux grained the cases with India ink to simulate the rich grain pattern found in rosewood. This is true of this example and the faux graining remains in very good original condition. The frames are fitted with reverse painted tablets or glasses in black, gold and red. These are the traditional E. Howard color combinations. The tablets on this example are original to this clock and are in good original condition having some areas of restoration to the fields of color. The iron dial is painted and measures 10 inches in diameter. This is signed by the Maker in script lettering. The movement is made of brass and is excellent quality. It is die stamped on the front plate with the Maker’s name, “E. Howard & Co. / Boston.” The movement is weight driven and features a recoil escapement. This movement is considered by many to be an accurate time keeper. The original weight is cast in iron. The brass bob features a ring turned design. The bob is supported by the original wooden rod. The Maker’s set up label remains pasted in the inside of the case on the bottom board.

This clock was made circa 1865 and is an excellent example. It is inventory number 219041.

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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