E. Howard & Co., of Boston, MA. Model No. 68. Astronomical Floor Standing Regulator Clock. 213166

This very impressive floor standing regulator was made by the E. Howard & Company of Boston, Massachusetts. This clock is cataloged as the Model Number 68 and is constructed in black walnut. It retains its original finish, and the color and tones are exemplary.

Like most big Howard regulators, this outstanding example is not an easy model to locate. Very few large Howard clocks come onto the public marketplace. Today, they are very desirable and are eagerly sought out by a number of serious collectors. This model was built in the 1880s and would have sold for approximately $325. In comparison, the E. Howard model No. 5 banjo sold for just $20.

This case is constructed in black walnut and features outstanding figured panels and veneered highlights. All of the case components are original to this example. This case bears the Numeral “5” die-stamped into the woodwork in three locations. They include the top of the door, the top of the case, and in the back of the upper crest. Four turned and carved finials are featured in the design of the upper crest. The facial representation of Jenny Lind is prominently featured in the center. This cabinet is supported on a paneled base that rests flat on the floor. All of the woodwork is in excellent condition and retains its original finish.

The brass dial measures approximately 15.25 inches in diameter. It is trimmed with a mahogany bezel. The front surface of the dial retains its original silver wash. The time track is engraved. The minutes are displayed along the perimeter of the dial sheet. It is divided into sixty divisions. Each of the minute markers is indicated in Arabic numerals. The second’s dial is enclosed in the minute ring. Each of the ten-second increments is marked with the corresponding Arabic numerals. The hours are positioned below the second’s dial. Each hour is represented in a Roman-style hour numeral. The Maker’s name is engraved across the dial in large block lettering.

Two brass-covered weights power the heavily brass-constructed eight-day movement. The large brass plates measure approximately 9.5 inches tall, 6.5 inches wide, and 2.25 inches deep. The letter “F” is die-stamped into the backplate. The number “1” is die-stamped on the top of the plate at the outer edge. “L.P. Emerson 1884” is engraved on the back of the great wheel, which is mounted to the winding drum. Emerson served as the foreman of Howard’s movement test facility. His name has been found engraved on numerous other Howard examples. Dana Blackwell reported that Emerson was also in charge of setting up special trains and escapements. The movement in this example features a very unusual escapement. It is called a “Four Arm Gravity Escapement,” which incorporates two impulse legs. The pallets are jeweled, as are the stops on the gravity arms. This is a very desirable arrangement. This clock is fitted with maintaining power and a Geneva Stop winding mechanism. The front plate is die-stamped “E. Howard & Co. Boston.” The clock is equipped with a brass and steel pendulum rod, a decorative rating nut, and four jar mercury pendulum bob. This pendulum is die-stamped with two numbers. It is numbered “3380,” which refers to the weight, and the number “279” is the clock order number. This corresponds to the Manufacture’s shop records. The E. Howard shop records indicated that this clock was ordered from E. Vanderwerkin of Stamford, Connecticut, on March 24, 1884. This clock was ordered with a “#2 Regulator, Gravity Escpt. / base to be decided apon.” The correct five spoked brass pulleys are die-stamped “17” twice on one, and the number “19” is die-stamped twice on the other. The two brass-covered weights are original to this clock, and they retain their original finish.

The case dimensions are 105 inches tall, 34.5 inches wide, and 16.75 inches deep.

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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