E. Howard & Co., Boston, MA. Model No. 89 in cherry.  Variant.

Looking at the photos of this wall clock one might assume that this clock is a standard E. Howard model No., 89. The fact is that this clock is a special order. It features an 89 style case that has been scaled down in size. This example measures 40 inches long, 13 inches wide and features a dial that measures 8 inches in diameter. (A standard size model No. 89 case measures 65 inches long by 19 inches wide and 8 inches deep.) It differs from the Model 58 in that the door is fitted with a single piece of glass. It does not have a wooden divider under the dial. In researching the available E. Howard order entries, clocks like this are entered under the “Special Clock” category. A similar clock was ordered on March 6th, 1890. The order specifys an 89 clock, special, 10 inch dial, size of 58-10 for the Woonsocket Rubber Co in Rhode Island.

The construction of this cherry case is designed to compensate for expansion and contraction as a result of changes in humidity and temperature just like it’s larger parent example. This case exhibits a number of decorative details including the long reeded moldings, Eastlake style carvings and six turned finials. The large door, located on the front of the case, is fitted with a large piece of clear glass. Through this door, one can view the painted zinc dial which measures approximately 8 inches in diameter. This dial is signed by the Maker in block lettering and features Roman hour figures. The dial is trimmed with a cherry bezel or ring. The pendulum rod is made of seasoned cherry. This rod supports the large brass covered bob that is filled with zinc for compensation. The brass retains its original nickle finish that is decorated with an engraved design. The weight driven movement is very good quality. It is framed with two large brass rectangular shaped plates. The front plate is die-stamped by the maker in the upper left hand corner. The movement, photographed before servicing, is designed to run for eight days on a single wind and is wound with a crank key. The cast iron weight, stamped “7”, descends directly below the movement and is hidden from view by the wooden channel constructed inside the case.

This very interesting example measures approximately 40 inches long, 13 inches wide and 6.5 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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