E. Howard & Co. Model No. 59-12. A large wall hanging clock. 221104

This Model Number 59 is an excellent example of the form. This large model is not easy to find. Very few examples come to market on a bi-annual basis. 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 two middle sizes featured dials that measured 10 and 8 inches respectively. 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 of this model 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 fine example is constructed in black walnut and measures approximately 70 inches in length. It is the largest model. The original finish is in very good condition. The natural color of the walnut wood is excellent. Many of the moldings have been finished in black. The contrast is excellent. All six of the turned wooden decorative finials appear to be original to this clock. The front and sides of the case are fitted with glass. The side windows add additional light into the interior of the case. Looking through the front door one can view the dial and the pendulum. Ones attention is then focused on the weight board. This is constructed in blistered maple. This is a very interesting and active wood. The grain pattern is memorizing. Blistered maple is used frequently on the construction of musical instruments. Here it provides an interesting backdrop for the pendulum to swing in front of. The pendulum tie-down is mounted to the bottom of this board. The cast iron weight that powers the clock descends behind it.

The painted zinc dial measures 12 inches in diameter. It features a a closed minute ring, large Roman style hour numerals and the Maker’s original block signature. Open diamond hands display the time. The dial is trimmed or framed with a wooden trim ring that has been finished in black. The pendulum rod extends from behind the dial. It can be clearly seen through the glass door in the front of the clock. The rod is made of seasoned cherry and has been painted silver. The 6.5 inch diameter bob is zinc covered in brass for compensation. The brass has been finished in nickel and is decorated with an engine turned design of concentric circles.

The weight driven movement is constructed in brass and steel. It is very good quality. Two large rectangular shaped plates are supported by four posts or pillars. The plates support the hardened steel shafts that support the brass gearing. The escapement is a re-coil set up. The works are weight powered and designed to run for eight-days on a full wind. The Maker’s name and working location are die-stamped on the front plate.

This clock was made circa 1880. Our inventory number is 221104.

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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