Booklet courtesy of Richard Blacher. Pictures and comments courtesy of Paul Jackson.
by Elbert Hubbard, 1908/1909
This booklet measures 6" X 4" and has 16 pages. The booklet is undated but is from 1908 or 1909 based upon the statement on the back cover, see second picture above. This booklet is a sales or advertising hype for Howard Watches and Albert Beck Jewelers of Buffalo N.Y. Interestingly, McKenna notes a Watch Wisdom under ephemera but dates it at 1914. 1914 would have to be a later reprinting of this booklet as the back page advertises Howard Watches and its' 66 years of business from 1842 until 1908.
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
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