Sundials - World's Oldest Clocks

North American Sundial Society

Selected Sundials of North America

This is a selected listing of sundials in the North American Sundial Society Registry. Click on any dial thumbnail picture or city name to display the full dial description with additional information and images.

 

Michigan

 
Saline Michigan USA Vertical Dial 631
A north-facing vertical dial of wood approximately 30 inches square with steel gnomon. Gnomon support includes "M M" representing 2000 millennium. Dial face includes script "RJ" for owner's initials as well as additional "M M" symbology. Hour markings show Eastern Standard Summer Time. Dial is displayed during summer months only, during which time it can be seen from the street. Dial is on private property but can seen from a public street.
 
 
Salt Lake City Utah USA Azimuth Dial 347
A 24 foot tall azimuth dial in a complex sculpture comprising a light projection gnomon within a 36 foot diameter base with numerous additional shadow-casting structures. The "Asteroid Landed Softly" sundial sculpture was created in 1993 by architect Kazuo Matsubayashi. The sculpture symbolizes the concepts of space and time: space as a large boulder (asteroid) sitting on a square pedestal; and, time as an azimuth sundial that shows the path of the sun through the day and seasons.
 
 
Salt Lake City Utah USA Horizontal Dial 114
Horizontal brass dial with a hexagonal shape, about 8 inches on a side. .Unusually small gnomon, only about 4 inches high. A beehive in relief is pictured at the base of the gnomon, perhaps explaining the hexagonal dial shape. Roman numerals with hour and quarter hour lines. Dial sits on a hexagonal pillar.
 
 
San Bernardino California USA Horizontal Dial 188
A 23 inch diameter horizontal bronze dial with 12 inch high gnomon and with hour, half-hour and quarter-hour lines from 5:30 AM to 7:30 PM and Roman hour numerals from 5 AM to 7 PM. Dial sits atop a 27 inch diameter stone pedestal 37.5 inch high.
 
 
San Carlos California USA Vertical Dial 424
This vertical dial is approximately 4 foot high by 6 foot long, mounted on the end wall of a house that can be publicly viewed. Dial has hour lines and lines marking the equator and solstice shadow limits. Made of wood and brass.
 
 
San Diego California USA Vertical Dial 19
Above the southwest entrance of the Chemistry-Geology Building is a vertical declining dial built by Richard L. Threet in 1979. The dial uses thin aluminum tubing as a gnomon to cast shadows on a ring of hour and half hour lines approximately 9 feet in diameter. The lines were originally painted black on the white concrete wall with only the 9 am, 12 noon, 3 pm and 6 pm lines boldly numbered. Since then the dial has lost all but the 12. DIAL DESTROYED BY BUILDING REMODELING Per Richard Threet 12/2/2006
 
 
San Diego California USA Equatorial Dial 815
This broad band equatorial dial was dedicated in 1978 to George A. Koester, former Executive Dean of San Diego State University. The approximately 3-foot dial is on a brick pedestal situated on on a small dais. Concentric brick circles complete the large dial plaza.
 
 
San Diego California USA Vertical Reclining Dial 80
This dial was originally owned and installed at Sea World in San Diego but was sold and purchased by Verlyn Kuhlmann. A 39 inch diameter reclining vertical dial of cast concrete with a 20 inch long steel gnomon. Dial reclines about 50°. Includes cast hour lines with Arabic numerals and longitude correction. A separate plaque provides instructions and an EOT graph. The dial is mounted on a 24 inch square aluminum base plate and short column support.
 
 
San Diego California USA Horizontal Dial 213
This is not the Koester dial at SDSU, but a far more interesting horizontal dial originally dedicated to the San Diego Normal School for elementary teaching by the class of June, 1911. The 18-inch octagonal bronze dial was originally designed by San Diego Clock maker Joseph Jessop and mounted on a miniature Doric column. The dial was placed within the circular lawn directly in front of the school's main entrance at the intersection of Park and El Cajon Boulevards.
 
 
San Francisco California USA Vertical Recliner Dial 20
Known as the "Navigators' Dial", this sundial is dedicated to three early explorers of the California coast. The dial itself is a sliced bronze globe of the earth sitting on the back of a tortoise. Overall, the globe hemisphere is about 2 1/2 feet in diameter, showing the world in relief centered on California. The flat face of the hemisphere is a beautiful vertical reclining dial. The dial sits atop a stone column. DIAL HAS BEEN REMOVED during remodeling of the De Young art museum - Apr 2002
 
 
San Francisco California USA Horizontal Dial 82
Built in 1913 as a promotion for a housing development that was once a racetrack, this dial boasted (incorrectly) that at 34 feet in diameter and 28 foot gnomon it was the largest dial in the United States. Nevertheless it gathered much publicity and newspaper articles of the day showed young girls dancing around a small pool that surrounded the gnomon. Bronze statues of porpoise were said to be in the pool. Today the statues are gone and the pool is green painted cement. Still, an interesting dial to visit.
 
 
San Francisco California USA Horizontal Dial 417
A plain but nicely done brass horizontal dial about 2 feet in diameter mounted on a simple concrete pedestal. The dial is in good condition, but about 50 degrees out of alignment.
 
 
San Francisco California USA Stone Sculpture Dial 418
This is a 16 ton granite statue by Richard O'Hanlon entitled "Sunstone I" and was designed in collaboration with astronomer David Cudaback. A small wall of rock with a round inlay of dark stone is supported high upon two tall vertical slabs of granite. At the back is a "heel stone" with marks to show where the sunlight strikes at the Equinox and Solstice.
 
 
San Francisco California USA Horizontal Dial 419
Hilltop Park was built by the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency in 1987. The Landscape Architect was Michael Painter and Associates. Here is a giant sundial 70 feet in diameter with a bright yellow painted steel gnomon 78 feet long. The dial has a cement base and was designed to be used as the stage for a surrounding amphitheater. Dial shows wear and abuse, with graffiti covering the lower portion of the gnomon. Still, it is awe inspiring.
 
 
San Francisco California USA Horizontal Dial 420
A small 10-inch cast iron dial from England honors Shakespeare in a garden of the same name. The dial is on a small pedestal in the middle of the courtyard walkway and surrounded by trees. Lovely, but many shadows pass over the dial during the day. The dial plate was made for latitude 54 degrees. The gnomon appears to have been cut down to accommodate the 38 degrees for San Francisco. This "hack" method of correcting a sundial does not give correct time.
 
 
San Francisco California USA Vertical Dial 421
Dial is on an outside wall above the entrance to a private residence. The dial was designed by Stan Musilek. The dial back is made out of galvanized steel. Metal rails indicate the hours. Instead of Arabic or Roman numerals, the proper number of steel balls indicate the time of each hour. Overall, the dial is 4 by 6 feet.
 
 
San Juan Puerto Rico USA Vertical Dial 349
A round pillar supports a rock cube with vertical dials on all four faces. This is one of the oldest in the Americas, erected by the Spanish around 1645 during the rule of Fernando de la Riva y Aguero. The vertical dial cube was crowned with a weather vane on top. This sundial was the first to be installed in the Antilles and was probably the second sundial to be placed in the New World.
 
 
San Ramon California USA Bow-String Equatorial Dial 726
This 5 x 5 x 6.5 foot stainless steel bow-string equatorial sundial is a precise heliochronometer with internal cam mechanism to correct for the Equation of Time. This exceptional dial is made of welded stainless steel sheet and weighs 330 pounds according to the designer Lee Palmer Stephenson. The dial face of the 60 inch diameter equatorial ring is marked with hour, half-hour, 15 minute, 5 minute and one minute lines and Arabic hour numerals showing PST and PDT.
 
 
San Ygnacio Texas USA Equatorial Dial 571
A stone equatorial dial with an iron gnomon. Inscribed on both sides with hour lines. Placed above an entrance to a walled fort also built in 1851. Legend says Jose Villarreal designed and built the dial to celebrate his escape in 1820 as a child after capture by Lipan Apache Indians and being guided by the north star in his return home. Dial Recorder Mary Garza is the great-great-granddaughter of Jose Villarreal.
 
 
Sandwich Massachusetts USA Armillary Dial 175
Bronze armillary dial about 40 inches in diameter. Has polar and meridional circles, with smaller ones at north and south poles. Gnomon is 1 inch in diameter. Dial is mounted on a wedge atop an octagonal stone pedesta. To enter Heritage Plantation there is a fee. For information phone 508-888-3300.