Howard & Davis Model No. 5 Square Bottom wall clock. Boston, MA. (Inventory number OO-18.)

This is a variant case style for the very popular model No. 5 which was first made by the Howard & Davis Company of Boston, Massachusetts and then later by the E. Howard Clock Company and others. This is considered an early example being manufactured sometime around 1850.

The model Number 5 is the smallest of the five banjo models that were offered by Howard & Davis firm. This example is considered unusual in that the bottom section features 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. It fact, they are not included in the known Howard & Davis and the latter E. Howard Company catalogs. In fact, we are lucky to see one example of this form every 5 or so years.

This example has very pleasing proportions. The movement is made of brass and is excellent quality. It features a recoil escapement and is considered an accurate time keeper. The clock is powered by the original cast iron weight. The pendulum is constructed with a wooden rod. The lead bob is cover in brass and it's motion can be viewed through the opening in the lower tablet. The zinc dial measures approximately seven inches in diameter. The decoration is printed on paper and is applied to the zinc pan. This dial is signed in block letters by the Maker in this location. The case is cherry and grained to simulate rosewood. It measures two feet five inches long. The glasses or tablets are reverse painted in black and gold which is the traditional format for this firm. They are original to this clock which was made circa 1850.

About Howard & Davis of Boston, Massachusetts.

The Howard & Davis firm was formed in Boston, Massachusetts by Edward Howard and David Potter Davis some time in 1842. Both men were trained and served their apprenticeship in clockmaking to Aaron Willard Jr. of Roxbury, Massachusetts. Their partnership lasted approximately ten years. In 1844 through 1847, Luther S. Stephenson joined the partnership which was then called Stephenson, Howard & Davis. It is now currently thought that the Howard & Davis name was not used until after Stephenson departed. The Howard & Davis Clock Company was located at No 34 Water Street. Here they built a reputation for building very high quality items which included various forms of high grade clocks and precision balances or scales. Gold standard balances were used by banks. Letter balances were built under contract for the United States Government. These were used in state and county offices. Town standards (scales) and Druggist’s balances were also manufactured along with the necessary weights. The company also made sewing machines and fire pumpers. In 1857, the Howard & Davis firm was dissolved when D. P. Davis left to peruse other ventures. In 1857, Davis was part of Davis, Polsey & Co. This firm identified itself as the “late Howard and Davis.” They manufactured clocks and a line of pull cord, pin registration watch clocks. This firm lasted until 1860. Posley continued to make these clocks on his own. In 1858, E. Howard began to sign his clocks, E. Howard & Co. This firm enjoyed many prosperous years making clocks and latter watches until he retired in 1881.

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