Edward Howard was one of the three original founders of the company that became the American Waltham Watch Company. When the original company failed in 1857, Mr. Howard was able to secure all the unfinished movements and started his own company with Charles Rice in 1858. At first, this new company of "Howard & Rice" merely finished the leftover watches and placed its name on them, but the company soon began to produce its own, completely different, watches under the name "E. Howard & Co." Howard introduced many innovations to American watchmaking, and may have been the first to produce stem wound watches in America. Because Howard made their watches completely different from those produced by other companies, they wouldn't fit inside standard cases and they had to have cases specially made for their watches. As a result, it is very common to see old Howard watches without a case, since replacements were very hard to come by if the original case was damaged or melted down for its gold value. As with early Walthams, early Howards are especially prized by collectors due to their historical significance.
In 1902 the Howard name was purchased by the Keystone Watch Case Company. The watches that were produced by Keystone under this name were completely different from the earlier Howards. Nevertheless, many fine watches were made, including some exceedingly high grade railroad watches.
-- from The New Collector's Guide to Pocket Watches, © 2000 Barry S. Goldberg
If anybody has some additional information or questions about these watches, please send me an e-mail and let me know!
|E. Howard & Co. pocket watch. "N" size [close to a size 18] Series VII with 15 jewels. Stem wind and pendant set. Original hands and dial, replacement case. Ca. 1880-1889.|
|Keystone Howard Series 11 "Railroad Chronometer". Size 16, 21 jewels, adjusted to temperature and 5 positions, stem wind and lever set. Housed in an original Howard gold-filled swing out case. Ca. 1917.|
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