Sundials - World's Oldest Clocks

North American Sundial Society

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1996_Armillary_PhillipsSquareThe NASS conference was held at the University of Toronto, where a number of unique dials were presented, including Paul Lapp’s garden analemmatic dial, and Bill Buckler’s analemmatic gnomon on an equatorial dial. Sara Schechner Genuth presented a paper on historical dials as evidence of consumer culture and Don Petrie explained his model sundial used to teach gnomonics.   The dial tour included the Royal Botanic Gardens and the Michener Institute of Medical Technology.

Attachments:
Download this file (1996_NASSConference_Toronto_Ontario.pdf)1996 NASS Conference Toronto[NASS Annual Conference]3168 kB

1995_NationalCathedral_4aOur first NASS conference was held in Washington, D.C. with a small group of about a two dozen people meeting at The Smithsonian Institution on the mall.  The group one common interest: sundials.  During the conference, the group was able to visit a special display of dials and rare books on dialing in the Smithsonian collection.  Papers equinoctial clocks, analemmatic sundials and digital sundials were presented.  George McDowell organized a sundial tour of “Twelve Sundials of Washington” that included dials at the National Cathedral, Eastern High School, and an enigmatic sundial at Tudor Place.

Attachments:
Download this file (1995_NASSConference_WashingtonDC.pdf)1995 NASS Conference Washington DC[NASS Annual Conference]2249 kB

NASS_2001_FredSawyerDialIn recognition of Frederick W. Sawyer’s effort as president of The North American Sundial Society, editor of NASS’s journal The Compendium, and for giving his time and talent to sundial design and the promotion of sundialing around the world, NASS commissioned Tony Moss to design and craft a sundial for Fred.

The horizontal dial was presented at the 2001 annual NASS conference.  It has a gold-plated hand-pierced gnomon with his initials that is set on a phosphor bronze plate engraved for his home latitude.

NASS_2000_Fer_de_VriesAt the 2000 NASS Conference in San Francisco, CA, Fred Sawyer announced the presentation of the first annual Sawyer Dialing Prize to Fer J. de Vries “in recognition of his many years of dedication to dialing, and in gratitude for his development of Zonwvlak and his always helpful encouragement and support of the global dialing community.”

 Fer could not attend the conference, but he sent a letter of appreciation asking that the cash award be donated in his name to the University of California Regents for use as a one-time prize fund for U.C. Berkeley’s Architecture 140 course where students are required to make a sundial.

NASS_2001_AdzemaAt the 2001 NASS Conference in Montreal, Canada, Fred Sawyer presented the Sawyer Dialing Prize to Robert Adzema, with the award given “in recognition of his demonstrations, in sculpture and in print, that with a sundial we can experience light as a tangible form and “time and place” as inseparable.”  Fred presented Robert with the certificate of recognition and a beautiful trophy equatorial by Tony Moss.  Robert will donate the Sawyer cash prize to a worthy cause.

 Robert describes “my sundials are abstract sculptures that measure the apparent motion of the sun throughout the day, the seasons and even the year. These mostly large, public works are carefully laid out, accurate both mathematically and geometrically, cast or fabricated in bronze, steel or stone and permanently set for their exact location. They are about sunlight and shadow.”

For more of Adzema’s work, read about the Suffern Free Library Sundial in The Compendium [Vol. 8 No. 4] December 2001 or visit http://www.robertadzema.com/

NASS_2002_CarmichealAt the 2002 NASS Conference in Tucson AZ, Fred Sawyer presented the Sawyer Dialing Prize to John Carmichael.  Fred presented John with a trophy equatorial dial by Tony Moss and a certificate of appreciation for John’s work in recognition of his efforts to bring dialing to a high tech world and his demonstration that it is still possible in that world to prosper as a traditional craftsman of high quality heliochronometers.

John produces a wide variety of sundials, principally in stone and glass.  Many are on public display in parks while others are in private buildings and homes. Visit John’s website at http://www.sundialsculptures.com/ to see the many dials he has produced.

In response to the award, John presented his paper on “Polar Axis Gnomons with Multiple Styles.”  In his talk, John outlined his idea for a project to use the structure of the McMath-Pierce Solar Telescope as the gnomon for a sundial.  Although the telescope tube is at the correct polar angle for use as a gnomon, the design is complicated by its size and thickness.  The style width creates different shadows projected from different edges of the structure as the day passes and the fuzziness of the penumbral shadow complicates the reading of the time.

NASS_2003_Helm_RobertsAt the 2003 NASS Conference in Banff, Alberta Canada, Fred Sawyer presented the fourth Sawyer Dialing Prize to Helm Roberts for his design and construction of the Kentucky Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial.  http://www.kyvietnammemorial.net/

 The certificate read in part: “In recognition of his understanding that the spirit of a sundial can not only stir the imagination but also help to heal the heart and preserve fond memory, as evidenced in his design of the Kentucky Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial.”  Helm also received the Sawyer Prize cash award and a beautiful special edition of Jim Tallman’s Spectra Sundial in etched glass.

Helm Roberts then gave an intriguing and moving presentation, “Making the Memorial – the Design, Theory, and Construction of the Kentucky Vietnam Veterans Memorial” at Frankfort, KY.  The gnomon is made of stainless steel, and the end point of its shadow annually touches the engraved name of each of over 1100 soldiers on the anniversary of the day of death. The political and mechanical issues are fascinating, resulting in a truly artistic triumph.

 http://www.artisanindustrials.com/world-of-sundials/spectra-sundial-frankfort.html

Subcategories

  • Sundials for Starters
    Article Count:
    6
  • Conferences
    Article Count:
    23
  • Sawyer Dialing Prize
    Fred Sawyer, in cooperation with the North American Sundial Society, established a continuing yearly award, the Sawyer Dialing Prize to be presented by NASS to an individual for accomplishments in or contributions to dialing and the dialing community.
    Article Count:
    19
  • Terwilliger Sundials
    In these pages is the famous tub sundial created by Robert Terwilliger using his laser trigon to lay out hour lines on a very irregular surface to create a working sundial.
    Article Count:
    1
  • Biographies

    Who are today's sundial artisans?  Here are several bioghraphies of several artisans that show the unique combination of talents in art, engineering, and mathematics.

    Article Count:
    6
  • Sunquest Sundial

    This section is dedicated to Richard Schmoyer who invented the Sunquest sundial.  Please visit http://sunquestsundial.org/ as well.

    Article Count:
    3