E. Howard & Co., Boston, MA. Model No. 11. An oversized Keyhole wall clock. (14 inch dial.) -SOLD-

This weight driven wall was made by the E. Howard Clock Company of Boston Massachusetts. It is cataloged as the Model No. 11 and is often referred to as the “Keyhole” in the trade due to the case form and its resemblance of a keyhole found in most doors of the period. Interestingly, this model was offered in at least three different dial sizes.

The 11 inch dial is the standard and is by far the most commonly found. This model has pleasing proportions and was sold to municipal entities like fire departments, businesses such as railroads and hotels and also to a residential market. These clock case measure approximately 12 inches across the bezel and are 31 inches in length.

The next version of this model features a 12 inch diameter dial. This is a very difficult model to find. We have seen only one example of this model in almost 50 years of business. This clock varies from the standard model in dial and head size only. The length of the case is 32.5 inches long. The bezel is 15.25 inches in diameter.

The third example of the Number 11 features a 14 inch dial. At least eight of these were ordered in May of 1876 for the Wamsutta Mills in New Bedford, Massachusetts. According to the existing E. Howard records, all eight were custom made and constructed in black walnut cases. The cases vary only in the head dimension from the standard model 11 form. The bezel is 17.25 inches in diameter and the case measure approximately 34 inches in length. All three of the examples we have seen have had very distinctive hands.

This is the largest size of this form currently known to us. It features a 14 inch dial and the case measures approximately 32.5 inches in length. This case is constructed in black walnut and features an older finish. The nicely shaped bezel is fitted with glass. This opens to access the painted dial. This dial has been professionally repainted. The Clockmaker’s name and working location are written in block lettering. The two hands are very unusual. We have seen them used on one other example of this model. The movement is made of brass and is excellent quality. It is weight powered or driven and features a recoil escapement. It is considered a very accurate time keeper for its small size. The movement is die stamped on the front plate, “E. Howard & Company, Boston.” The cast iron weight is original to this clock. The brass bob is supported by the original wooden rod. The three inch bob retains its original ring design consisting of concentric rings that alternate with a damascene pattern. This bob can be viewed through a circular opening in the painted decoration of the lower glass. This glass is decorated in the traditional black, gold and red colors.

This very difficult to find example may be one of the Wamsutta Mills clocks? If so, it was made circa 1876.

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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