E. Howard & Co. Model No. 4. Wall or banjo clock. Boston, Mass.

This is a very nice example of E. Howard’s Model Number 4. It was made by the E. Howard & Company of Boston, Massachusetts circa 1870.

This model is the second smallest of the five banjo sizes offered by this company. It measures a very manageable 32 inches in length. As a comparison, the smallest example of this set is the No. 5 and that clock measures 29 inches long. The No.1, the largest of the five banjo forms measures a full 50 inches in length.

This case has very pleasing proportions. It is constructed in cherry and retains its original grain painted decoration. This grain pattern was done in ink with the intention of simulating the bold grain patterns found in rosewood. The finish is quite nice and could possibly be original. The rounded frames are fitted with glass. The two lower panels are decorated or are painted from the back in the traditional E. Howard colors of black, gold and maroon. Both tablets have been professionally restored and the colors match. The bezel is fitted with clear glass. This glass protects the dial. This model features an iron dial that measures approximately 8 inches in diameter. The company name and the city location is signed in script lettering. The movement is made of brass and is excellent quality. It weight driven and features a recoil escapement. It considered to be an accurate time keeper. The movement is die stamped on the front plate, "E. Howard & Company, Boston." It is powered by the original cast iron weight and is designed to run eight days on a full wind. The pendulum rod is wood and supports a bass faced lead bob. This bob is decorated with a concentric ring turned design. Every other ring is decorated with a damascene design. The clockmaker’s set up label is pasted on to the bottom board of the case.

This example was made circa 1870.

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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