E. Howard & Company Hall Striking Clock. Model No. 301. 220078

This very impressive mahogany case was made by the E. Howard Clock Company of Boston, Massachusetts. According to the E. Howard Clock Company records that have survived, a small number of hall clocks were ordered beginning in the 1893 through 1896. This specific group of clocks are not listed in the known Howard catalogs that have survived. This group was originally given model numbers that included the Numbers 300, 301,302, 303 and 304. I believe this to be the Model 301. (You will not find this information anywhere else.)

The model Number 301 was first made on April 22, 1893. Four examples are listed in the Howard records as being produced over a period of almost six years. The first example was built and sent to the New York office for stock.

A second clock was made in December of that same year and sent to the Boston office. That clock was to have a silvered dial with gilded Arabic figures and a half hour strike.

The third clock was sent to the New York Office in in March of 1895. That clock had a silvered dial with old antique figures.

The last example was made in June of 1898. Unfortunately the details are somewhat thin. It called for a “Special Hall Clock” and was ordered through the Boston Office for George MCL (McLellan) Presson of Farmington, Maine. This is a special clock.

George McLellan Presson was born in Farmington, Maine on August 1, 1864. His parents were David W Presson and Doris (Hillman) Presson They were farmers and owned a large farm in that town. George was not found of the farming lifestyle. Instead, he worked in town as a store clerk growing up. He finished high school but never attended college. At the age of 26, 1890, George enlisted in Maine’s 15th Regiment as part of the infantry. With in three years, he rose to the rank of Colonel. In 1915, he was promoted to the rank of Brigadier General and was kept States side during the Great War because of his age. He soon became and Adjutant General and supported the troops overseas by recruiting here at home. During this time he also worked as an optician. He retired from the Army in 1921 and then returned to the military, serving as a Colonel in the National Guard until he turned 60. He then served as the leader of a War Society in Northern, Maine. George died in 1951 in Farmington.

This very impressive mahogany case measures approximately 8 feet 8 inches tall to the top of the center finial. It was made by the E. Howard Watch & Clock Company of Boston, Massachusetts. The mahogany case retains its original finish. The decorations are finely made to the highest standards of craftsmanship. These decorative details are located throughout the design of the case. The hood or bonnet features in a nicely shaped broken arched pediment top. The arches are well formed, somewhat compressed and center a carved finial in the shape of and urn and flame. Below the arches are carved vines and florals. The cornice molding transitions into the main case of the bonnet with a number of interesting molding shapes. Additional decorative vine carvings are located in the frieze section on the top section of the rectangular door. The rectangular shaped hood door features a glass fitted tomb-stone shaped opening. The upper panels are decorated with additional carvings. The front corners of the hood are fitted with fancy applied decorations. These are carved. The predominant feature is the facial depiction of a distinguished gentleman’s face. He is sporting a long well groomed mustache. The bonnet sides are fitted with panels. These are fretted and backed in silk. Their purpose is to allow the sounds generated from the mechanism to more easily escape the inside of the case. The hood transitions to the waist section via a convex molding. This is embellished with floral carvings and a dentil detail. The waist section is pinched like that of a more traditional tall clock case form. This greatly improves the overall proportions of the case. The rectangular shaped door is fitted with beveled glass. Through this door one can view the three brass covered drive weights and the brass faced pendulum bob. The wooden rod that supports this bob is gilded. In the upper corners of this door are additional decorative carvings. This door is flanked by smoothly turned quarter columns. These terminate in carved details. The lower carvings are excellent. The sides of the waist are paneled. The base is elevated off the floor on four carved feet. They are in the form of animal paws and applied to a double step molding. All three sides of the base are paneled. The front panel features additional carvings. The moldings designs are complex and wonderfully detailed.

The dial is brass and measures 13 inches across. The engravings have been filled with black wax and the dial surface is treated with a silver wash for contrast. In the area of the lunette is a moon phase calendar dial display. This is painted. The Roman style hour numerals and the cast spandrels are brass and are applied to the dial sheet. The name plaque, located above the hour VI is inscribed “E. Howard & Co. / Boston.” The hour and minute hands are an english pattern.

The eight-day time, hour, and quarter hour strike movement is very highly finished throughout. The heavy brass plates are made of specially hard rolled brass are supported by four turned posts that are secured with screws. The screws are blued. The pinions are cut from solid steel and are hardened and drawn by experts to the proper temper. This reduces friction and requires less weight to drive the movement insuring many years to the life of the clock. The escapement pallets are ground and polished by machinery giving them the true circle, producing a real dead-beat escapement and the correct angle to the impulse faces. The movement beats dead-beat seconds, have maintaining power, adjustable pendulum, moon dial springs and let-down clicks. The hours and quarter hours are struck on a series of five coil shaped wire gongs. The gongs are mounted to a sound board above the movement. The three lead weights are finished in brass sleeves that are polished. The gilded cherry pendulum rod supports a brass-faced pendulum bob. The pendulum tie-down is also brass.

The mahogany case measures approximately 8 feet 8 inches tall to the top of the center finial. The clock was made circa 1893.


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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