E. Howard & Co. No., 1 Regulator. Watchmakers, Bank and Public Office Clock. The regulator banjo. BBB12

This very impressive wall timepiece is the E. Howard Clock Company’s Model Number 1. It was originally marketed as a regulator for watchmakers and was also advertised as being, “Well adapted for banks, insurance offices and large rooms.”

The E. Howard & Company offered five graduating sizes of this banjo form. This example is the largest of the five of sizes measuring 4 feet 2 inches long and having a dial that is 12 inches in diameter. For comparison, the smallest example measures 29 inches and is called the Model Number 5.

Traditionally, the Howard banjo cases are constructed in cherry and are finished with a faux grain pattern in India ink. This pattern simulates the rich natural grain structure exhibited in rosewood. This is true of this example. The grain pattern exhibited on this example is in very good original condition. The frames are fitted with restored reverse painted tablets or glasses. The black, gold and red are the traditional E. Howard & Company color combinations. The 12 inch painted enameled dial is iron. It is protected by glass that is fitted into the case bezel. This dial is signed in block lettering by the clockmaker. It reads, “E. Howard & Co. / BOSTON.” This model, again the largest size, features a subsidiary seconds dial. The other four Howard banjo models do not. The weight driven movement is constructed in brass and is excellent quality. The rectangular shaped plates are robust. The Maker’s name is die-stamped into the front plate. The backplate is secured to the back board with brass tabs. The movement is designed to run eight-days on a full winding. It features weight power, a Graham Dead Beat Escapement, a Geneva Stop winding mechanism and maintaining power or retaining power gearing. The original drive weight is cast in iron. The gilded cherry wood pendulum rod is supported from a bridge that is mounted on the front of the movement. The suspension features two springs that are mounted in brass blocks. The rod can be seen through the the clear opening in the waist glass. The bob is decorated with a pattern of concentric damascene designs. The bob can be seen through the clear opening in the lower tablet or glass. It secures to the weight board via a brass tie-down or pendulum keep. Remnants of the original Clockmaker’s setup label remains pasted to the bottom board inside the case.

This clock was made circa 1870 and is a good example. This model has proven to be a very accurate time keeper.

BBB-12.

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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