E. Howard & Co. Model No. 70. School clock made for and used by the New York Board of Education.

This E. Howard Model Number 70 was ordered and used by the Board of Education in New York. A variety of school systems ordered the model 70 in significant numbers. The New York school system had a division called The New York City Board of Education's Bureau of Plant Operations and Maintenance Repair Shop. This contained a division dedicated to the repair of the clocks that were in use in the numerous public schools of NYC. Many of the Howard versions are often easily identifiable by the signature on the dial. These dials read, "BOARD OF EDUCATION / NEW YORK." This signage is located in traditional location of the E. Howard & Co., signature. Many of these clocks were sold to them with their original Howard dials only to be replaced by the Board of Education’s version at a later date. The New York dials differ in that they are often made of aluminum. Many of them are painted with Arabic style hours numerals that are positioned in a tumbled or upright formatting. I find this formatting very interesting. It is somewhat unusual to know where a Howard 70 was originally used. I can imagine the Collectors of New York items would have to consider this version a must buy.

This E. Howard model Number 70 is good overall condition. This is remarkable because these clocks were maintained by a custodian who had very little invested in this piece of furniture. In fact, this clock is really a tool that provides a service to all that view it. It is fun to imagine how many people depended on this clock on a day to day basis. The custodian would have to physically wind this clock once a week. This usually required the use of a ladder because many public clocks were hung high on the wall out of reach of those that didn’t need to be handling them.

This case is constructed in ash and has a very light color presentation. The 12 inch aluminum dial is painted. The original dial being replaced by this Board of Education version when this clock went into the school system. The weight driven movement is brass and of very good quality. The clockmaker’s name, "E. Howard & Co / BOSTON" and model number "70" are die-stamped into the front plate. The weight is cast iron and is original to the clock. The pendulum rod is made of wood and supports a bob that is zinc and covered in brass. The damascene decoration applied to the brass bob is in excellent original condition. The reverse painted tablet is done in the traditional Howard colors of black red and gold. This is an original tablet.

This clock is designed to run for eight days on a full wind and was made circa 1910. The case measures approximately 32 inches long overall.

The Model 70 was successfully sold. It was used extensively in the Boston Public School System, in the various Boroughs of Greater New York and many other places as the Standard School Clock. It is reported that the United States Government specified it as the "Standard for all Public Buildings." One would also see this model in use in many of the Nations railroad stations. Some of which included: The Elevated Railroad Stations of New York City, The Pennsylvania Railroad Company, The Central Railroad of New Jersey, West Shore Railroad of Boston & Albany and nearly all Railroad Companies throughout the United States, Mexico and Canada.


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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