Back Up Next

E. Howard & Co., Boston, Massachusetts, USA, 1895. Model #1. Serial #751, 1879.

Single train, cast iron, plate and spacer frame construction. Graham deadbeat escapement. Harrison style maintaining power. Eight day duration. 25"w x 50"h x 22"d. 56"h including top lead off gear nest. Top of base 14"w x 12"d.

        DSC05686a.jpg (500486 bytes)  DSC05692a.jpg (482740 bytes)

                                                               DSC05690a.jpg (515616 bytes)

       DSC05400.JPG (582917 bytes)  DSC05403.JPG (615369 bytes)

Beginning in 1842 and continuing for nearly 100 years, E. Howard & Co. made around 4000 tower clocks. E. Howard is widely considered one of the finest American  clock makers and is very sought after by collectors, especially in the United States. While this may be true domestically, there are a number of European makers, particularly those in France and England whose quality far surpasses that of the Howard company. For example Howard stakes their wheels directly onto the arbors while a better way is to screw the wheels to the collets. Inner surfaces of wheel spokes and hoops are not machined and left in their original 'as cast' state. I found the screws throughout to be somewhat crude and of uneven lengths for the same applications. The pallets are not adjustable. Several parts are permanently riveted together where in better movements everything can be disassembled. The main wheel, barrel and maintaining power gear and pendulum adjustment knob is ferrous metal; painted to look like brass instead of the real thing. Bushes and taper pin holes lack indicator markings for correct placements and orientation.

Having said this, their quality is still very good. The feature that I find the E. Howard company has done a superlative job is on the overall design of their clocks. Look at the first picture. The lines of the movement frame flow seamlessly into the curved legs. This is best seen on this, the model #1 size (their smallest floor standing model). The geometry of larger movements do not achieve this as well. The second picture shows how the company has evenly spaced their wheels along the plane of the side view. Most clocks leave their wheels close to the ends which gives the impression of a forest of bare arbors when viewed from the side. I also find the exaggerated curves of the cabriole legs to be quite pleasing. Overall the visual impact and its' striking difference from any other clock is quite special. Presently the movement has been restored. The frame and weight are awaiting restoration. See a whimsical application where a similar movement was made into a very large modern day street clock in Seattle, Washington.

Back Up Next