E. Howard & Co., Boston, MA. Model No. 42. Wall clock. A difficult model to find.

This is the E. Howard Model Number 42. Of all of the Howard models, this series is in my opinion the most Victorian looking having bold carvings that feature shells mounted to the top and bottom of the case. This example is the smallest of 5 sizes that make up a set. This example measures approximately 3 feet 10 inches (46 inches) long. The catalog lists it as being 44 inches in length. Interestingly, this is the second example with this length. The production of this model was somewhat limited. During the period of 1871 to 1880, the Howard records indicated that they manufactured 65 No. 42s over that nine year period. They were approximately $40 a piece. Interestingly, the majority of these were shipped to Pennsylvania and Ohio. As a comparison, Howard made 91 No. 5 banjos ( the smallest size) in 1871 alone. A No. 5 sold for $20.

This series follows the same movement structure that is found in the Model Numbers 1-5 (Banjos) and 6-10 (figure eights.) The smallest size has a standard No 5 movement. The largest size, the No. 38, features a No.1 regulator movement with a sixty beat seconds dial, seconds pendulum, a deadbeat escapement and retaining power. It measures 72 inches in length and has a 14 inch dial. The No. 41 is 48 inches long and has a 9 inch dial. The No. 40 is 52 inches long and is fitted with an 11 inch dial. The No. 40 is 46 inches in length and features a 12 inch dial.

This case is constructed in black walnut and retains it’s original finish. This has been rubbed out and presents itself on the darker side of the color scale. This case features a flat throat frame that is decorated with applied molding, floral carvings and glass windows. Applied carvings are mounted to the top and bottom of the case. The painted tablet is original to this clock. It features the traditional E. Howard colors of black, red and gilt paint. The center section of the throat tablet has been left open in the center so that one can view the motion of gilded pendulum rod and the brass faced damascene decorated bob. The black painted weight board is original. It not only provides a guide for the weight or protection for the pendulum but is also used as a field of color for the pendulum to swing in front of. The clockmaker’s set up label is applied to the back of the door. This is in excellent condition.

The 8 inch dial is iron is signed by the Maker in a script format. The hours are indicated with Roman style figures. The Company name is signed below the center arbor in script lettering. It reads, “E. Howard & Co., / Boston.” This is applied to a dial board which is mounted to the case.

The weight driven movement is brass and of very good quality. The Maker’s name can be found die-stamped on the front plate. The movement is designed with a recoil escapement and is considered to be a very accurate time keeper for its small size. The pendulum rod is made of seasoned cherry and retains most of its original gilding. The pendulum bob is zinc. It is covered in brass for compensation. The brass is decorated with a damascene design. It is in very good condition. The weight is cast iron and is original to this clock. This clock is designed to run for 8 days on a wind and 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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