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. This example is constructed in black walnut and retains it’s original finish. The color and tones are exemplary.

This outstanding example, like most big Howard regulators, is not an easy model to locate. Very few large Howard clocks come onto the public marketplace. Today, they are very desirable and eagerly sought out by a number of serious collectors. This model having been built in the 1880’s, 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. This case bear the Numeral “5” die stamped into the top of the case in three locations. They include the top of the door, top of the case and on the back of the upper crest. Four turned and carved finials are mounted to the crest. The facial representation of Jenny Lind is prominently featured in the center. This case is support to a paneled base that rests flat to 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 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 are indicated in Arabic numerals. The seconds dial is enclosed in the minute ring. This is also divided into sixty increments. Each ten second increment is marked with the corresponding Arabic numerals. The Hour is positioned below the seconds dial. Each hour is represented in a Roman hour numeral. The Maker’s name is engraved across the dial in large block lettering.

The heavily brass constructed eight day movement is powered by two brass covered weights. The frames measuring 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 was a forman of the Howard movement test facility. His name has been found 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 fitted with a brass and steel pendulum rod, a decorative rating nut and 4 jar mercury pendulum bob. This pendulum diestamped with two numbers. It is numbered “3380” which refers to the weight and number “277” 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 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 as follows: 105 inches tall, 34.5 inches wide and 16.75 inches deep. It is inventory number 213166.

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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