E. Howard & Co., Model No. 59. A Howard "Special Order Vienna." 220056

According to the available E. Howard Clock records, four separate sizes of this model were offered. The largest size measures a full 70 inches in length and has a 12 inch diameter dial. The smallest size is 36 inches long and features a 6 inch diameter dial. All models were offered in oak, ash, cherry or walnut wood. The first example was made and sent to the New York Office on May 15, 1874. Howard had high expectations for this clock. It was dubbed, “the new number 5.” In truth, the production numbers were fairly low. For the 27 year period that the E. Howard records have survived, approximately 325 clocks were made. The last clock was made on 5/25/1898. In the 1880’s, prices ranged from $25 to $60 respectively. Today, very few model 59s come to market on a bi-annual basis. This is a very good example of the form and may have been a special order clock.

This example is one of the two middle sizes measuring 48 inches in length. (The other middle size measures 56 inches long and has a 10 inch diameter dial.) The case wood is black walnut and retains an old consistent finish. Ebonized details are incorporated into the design of this case. They can be found on the upper and lower moldings and on the vertical columns that are attached to the door. The six wooden finials are decoratively turned. The three lower finials are embellished with carvings. All six finials are decorated with accents of black paint. Birds-eye maple, a wood that exhibits a very unusual and interesting grain pattern, was purposely selected for the back board. This wood is light and color having a pleasing effect on the overall design. Astute Howard collectors will notice that this example does not have a weight channel like the model pictured in the catalogs. Instead, the backboard is flat and presented on a single plain. The cylindrical shaped drive weight descends in front of this backboard and just behind the pendulum. This lead weight is covered in a thin sleeve of black walnut wood and is capped at both ends. The pendulum is also specially constructed. The rod is wood, most likely made from seasoned cherry. It is shaped and finished in black paint. The center along its length is gilded. Intestingly, the bob appears to be all wood. This is faced with a fine selection of curly maple. The perimeter features a molded edge that is finish with gilding. A brass tie-down is fitted to the bottom of the case to support the pendulum during transport.

The 8 inch diameter dial is painted on zinc. It features Roman style hour numerals and a closed minute ring. The signature is formatted in script style lettering. It reads, “E. HOWARD & CO. / BOSTON.” An ebonized wooden trim ring nicely frames the outer edge of this dial.

The weight driven movement is brass and of very good quality. This clock is designed to run for 8-days on a full wind. The Maker’s name and working location are die-stamped on the front plate.

This fine example was made circa 1875.


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 “Willard’s Patent Time Pieces” written by Paul Foley.


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