E. Howard "Regulator #89"
Height 85”, oak, ca. 1889.
This model clock was very popular due to it’s ability to keep very accurate time. Many were made for factories and do not look very nice. But some were made for the railroads who did care about the looks, so they used a more expensive finely finished version.
The 12” painted dial is signed “E. Howard” signature but it is very faded. The dial is also signed “No. 73” which I believe is the railroad identifier for this clock. The 8-day time-only movement is big and very accurate. The 8” brass pendulum is damascened, and the pendulum rod is gold gilded. The inside board covering the weight is a particularly beautiful piece of quarter-sawn oak.
This clock was originally consigned by E. Howard and assigned to the Chicago Dearborn (Polk Street) railroad station Trainmaster’s office. Auction documentation also says that it spent time in the P.R.R. president's office. At some point due to station consolidations the clock ended up in a basement with 125 other Howard’s.
It was there that Bernard Edwards purchased this clock for $20. Bernard owned the clock until it was sold at auction in 2008. Bernard told the auctioneer that this was the very first clock he bought. And he was 18 years old at the time.
Bernard Edwards is a person of some significance. According to an Internet search he was the 3rd generation owner of a famous Chicago sign company, which made his family wealthy by the 1930’s. As a businessman, he founded Postacular Posting Service in 1962 and Bedco in the 1980's. More recently Bernard was known for antique clocks and advertising collectibles. He wrote the reference books “Dial Co. Catalog”, “Old Advertising Clocks”, and “Clock & Watch Advertising”. His advertising collection was said to be outstanding. NAWCC president from 1989 to 1991. Bernard passed away at the age of 76 in 2012.
This is an actual photograph of the Dearborn Station in Chicago, pre-1922. The building was designed by Cyrus L. W. Eidlitz and opened on May 8, 1885.
The three-story building's exterior walls and twelve-story clock tower were composed of pink granite and red pressed brick. Modifications to the structure following a fire in 1922 included eliminating the original pitched roof profile. Behind the head house were the train platforms, shielded by a large train shed. Inside the station were ticket counters, waiting rooms, and one of the legendary Fred Harvey Company restaurants.
Note that the station still stands today but no longer services train traffic.