E. Howard & Co., No. 28. Marble Dial Clock. Boston, MA. 221136

Marble Dial Clocks were original designed for and used in banks, halls, public buildings, hotels, railway depots, church galleries and all large apartments. Marble was used as a material and accepted by the public because its distinctive look. The surface of these clocks are easy to keep clean and are very durable.

The entire front of this case is a single piece of marble that measures approximately one half of an inch thick and 2 feet 4 inches long. The marble selected for this example features an active grain pattern. The stone is trimmed a nicely formed edge that is in very good condition. It is not cracked of chipped. The marble is mounted with two large screws in the positions on 3 and 9 o’clock. These pass through holes in the marble and the stone to the pine case behind it. The form of the wooden case follows the shaping of the marble. The outside surfaces of the wooden case are painted white. This is an original painted surface. The 14 inch diameter dial is in the upper section of the marble. It features Roman style hour numerals and a closed minute ring. The Clockmaker’s signature is painted in red. The paint on this example has been strengthened. The time is indicated on the front of the clock with the two decoratively formed hands. The motion of the pendulum can be viewed through the clear aperture in the center of the paint decorated lower tablet. This original tablet is painted from the back and features the traditional colors of black and gold. Also note the two decorative stars in the design. This tablet is mounted in the shaped opening located in the lower section of the marble/facade.

The weight driven movement is brass and of very good quality. The weight is cast in lead and is original to this clock. The Maker’s name and working location are die-stamped onto the heavily cast front plate. Both rectangular shaped plates retain their original scraping design. This movement is also fitted with a Geneva stop-work winding mechanism. The pendulum is supported by a block that is mounted above the plates of the movement. An auxiliary steel rod extends to the top of the case in order to fine tune the time regulation. This is done by turning the knob at the top of the case. The pendulum rod is made of wood and retains its original gilding. The bob is zinc, covered in brass and retains a bold engine turned design in alternating concentric rings. This is a pleasing design. The motion of this pendulum bob can be viewed through the glass tablet located in the lower section of this clock. There is also a device that will start the pendulum located at the bottom of the case. Push this level side to side and it in turns engages the pendulum rod to start the clock.

This fine clock was made circa 1875.


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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