E. Howard & Co. Model No. 59. A Howard style "Vienna." Boston, Mass. VV-55

According to the E. Howard clock catalogs, four separate sizes of this model were offered. The largest size measures a full 70 inches long and has a 12 inch diameter dial. The smallest size is 36 inches long and features a 6 inch diameter dial. All models were offered in oak, ash, cherry or walnut wood. The first example was made and sent to the New York Office on May 15, 1874. Howard had high expectations for this clock. It was dubbed, "the new number 5." In truth, the production numbers were fairly low. For the 27 year period that the E. Howard records have survived, approximately 325 clocks were made. The last clock was made on 5/25/1898. In the 1880's, prices ranged from $25 to $60 respectively. Today, very few model 59s come to market on a bi-annual basis. This is a very good example of the form.

This example is one of the two middle sizes measuring 48 inches in length. (The other middle size measures 56 inches long and has a 10 inch diameter dial.) The case wood is walnut and retains an old consistent finish. Birds-eye maple, a wood that exhibits a very unusual and interesting grain pattern, was purposely selected for the weight board. This board is centrally located in the design of the case and the pendulum swings in front of it. (Unfortunately, the figuring in the wood did not show up well in the photographs of this clock. In person it is outstanding.) Ebonized details are incorporated into the design of this case. They can be found on the upper and lower moldings and on the vertical columns that are attached to the door. This treatment has suffered a number of very minor losses.

The 9 inch diameter dial is painted on zinc. It features Roman style hour numerals and a closed minute ring. The signature is formatted in block style lettering. It reads, "E. HOWARD & CO. / BOSTON." An ebonized wooden trim ring nicely frames the outer edge of this dial.

The pendulum rod can be seen through the glass door in the front of the clock. The rod is made of seasoned cherry and is treated with a silver paint. This supports the bob which is zinc covered in brass for compensation. It features a nickel finish which compliments the wooden rod. The bob is decorated with an engine turned design which remains in excellent condition.

The weight driven movement is brass and of very good quality. This clock is designed to run for 8-days on a full wind. The Maker’s name and working location are die-stamped on the front plate.

This fine example was made circa 1880. This lock is inventory number VV55.

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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