A Study of E. Howard & Co. Watchmaking Innovations 1858-1875
|by Clint B. Geller (NAWCC Special Order Supplement No. 6, 2005).
8-1/2" x 11", 90 pages, and many black and white photos and several tables.
Divided into two parts, Geller covers thoroughly in part I the origin and evolution of the E. Howard Co. divided-plate and key wind movement and in part II the three-quarter watch movement. This company’s early watches exhibit greater individual character, on the whole, than those of any other American watch manufacturer. Because Howard was willing to employ skilled labor and encourage technical development, among other reasons, around 1860 his watches were state of the art.
The origin of Howard’s divided-plate movements has been traced to the Boston Watch Company. The earliest Howard watches incorporated two important features necessary for a good watch with no fusee—stop works and protection mechanisms for the wheel train. But with no fusees there were other problems, as Geller details.
In part II Geller presents new technical data and accurate introduction dates for the various movement models based on factory records and research updates. As more efficient mass production methods began to deliver moderately priced watches with enough accuracy for the ordinary citizen, the E. Howard Company failed to adapt quickly enough to the new trends, and soon their products were considered old-fashioned and eventually obsolete, causing the demise of the company.