E. Howard & Co. Model No. 42 in black walnut. Boston, Massachusetts. 220087

This is the Model Number 42. This example is the smallest of 5 separate sizes that make up a set. This example measures approximately 3 feet 10 inches or 46 inches long. The catalog lists it as being 44 inches in length. Interestingly, this is the third example we have owned that shares this length. The production of this model was somewhat limited. During the period of 1871 through 1880, the Howard records indicated that they manufactured 65 No. 42s over that nine year period and at that time, they sold for approximately $40 a piece. Interestingly, the majority of these models were shipped to Pennsylvania and Ohio. As a comparison, Howard made 91 No. 5 banjos (the smallest size) in 1871 alone. A No. 5 sold for $20.

This series follows the same movement structure that is found in the Model Numbers 1-5 (banjos) and 6-10 (figure eights.) The smallest size has a standard No. 5 movement. The largest size, the No. 38, features a No.1 regulator movement with a sixty beat seconds dial, seconds pendulum, a deadbeat escapement and retaining power. The largest example measures 72 inches in length and has a 14 inch dial. The No. 39 is 60 inches in length and features a 12 inch dial. The No. 40 is 52 inches long and is fitted with an 11 inch dial. The No. 41 is 48 inches long and has a 9 inch dial.

This case is constructed in black walnut and retains what is very likely its original finish. This case features applied carvings that are mounted to the top and bottom of the case. These are deeply carved and are in excellent original condition. The long middle section of the case doubles as a door and is is secured with a lock. This door feature an applied flat throat frame that is decorated with applied moldings, floral carvings and two individual glass windows. The painted tablet in the lower window is original to this clock. It features the traditional E. Howard colors of black, red and gilt paint. The center section of this tablet has been left open in the center so that one can view the motion of gilded pendulum rod and the brass faced damascene decorated bob. Behind the pendulum is a black painted weight board. The pendulum swings in front of this which is original to this clock. It 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. Remnants of the clockmaker’s original set up label are inside the case. The upper glass is framed with a circular molding. This frames the dial.

The 8 inch painted iron dial is signed by the Maker in a script format. This remains in excellent condition. The Company name is signed below the center arbor. It reads, “E. Howard & Co., / Boston.” The hours are indicated with Roman style figures. This dial is applied to a dial board which is mounted to the structure of the case.

The weight driven movement is brass and of very good quality. The Maker’s name can be found die-stamped into the front plate. The movement is designed with a recoil escapement and is considered to be a very accurate time keeper for its small size. The pendulum rod is made of seasoned cherry and retains most of its original gilding. The pendulum bob is zinc. It is covered in brass for compensation. The brass is decorated with a damascene design. This design is in very good condition. The no. 5 weight is cast iron and is original to this clock. This clock is designed to run for 8-days on a wind and was made circa 1875.

It is my opinion, that all of the Howard wall models, this series is the most Victorian looking of the offerings.


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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