& 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.
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.