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.

 

Virginia

 
Richmond Virginia USA Vertical Dial Dial 635
An 87 x 37 inch vertical stained glass sundial in a second story window on the south wall of a tower at Richmond Hill, a historic monastery in Richmond. The glass area of the dial is frosted with hour lines and numerals read from the inside. Richmond Hill is open to the public Tuesday through Sunday; visitors are welcome to view the sundial, which is located in a tower accessible from the main lobby entrance.
 
 
Richmond Virginia USA Obelisk or Vertical Gnomon Dial 173
'Built in 1981 after an article in Scientific American (Dec 1980 "The Amateur Scientist") described a computer program for building a gnomonic dial with analemma hour lines. The dial was painted on the museum's parking lot, using a ball atop a 25 ft aluminum flagpole as the nodus. Semi-annual analemmas were painted in different colors, allowing correction for the equation of time. The dial was refurbished June 1992.
 
 
Richmond Virginia USA Horizontal Dial Dial 977
A bronze dial 11.5 inches in diameter, 21 inches high. It is signed by Thomas Hart and dated 1765. The inscription on the dial implies a much later date of late 1800's or early 1900's.
 
 
Ridgecrest California USA Analemmatic Dial Dial 679
A 20x15 foot axis analemmatic dial built of cement hour posts, metal markers and tile and lava rock on the high desert floor outside the museum building.
 
 
Ridgeland Mississippi USA Vertical Dial Dial 886
This is a small 7 x 10 inch vertical dial declining due south. It is made from wood with hour lines, half hour lines, and Roman numerals engraved using a wood burning tool. The simple gnomon is 1/8 inch steel.
 
 
River Falls Wisconsin USA Vertical Dial Dial 185
The inspiration for this sundial, at one time the largest vertical dial in the world, came from Dr. Swensen visiting Heidelberg castle that had a large vertical dial on the wall of the castle. Construction of the Univ. of Wisconsin dial began in 1994 on the south wall of the Kleinpell Fine Arts Building. The result is a 30 x 56 foot vertical dial of anodized aluminum with analemmic hour markers, and day lines to mark winter and summer solstice, Candelmas (1/31), Martinmas (11/10), Beltane (5/8) and Lammas (8/4), vernal and autumnal equinoxes. The massive south-facing vertical dial takes up the entire wall of the three-story fine arts building. The hour markers are gold on the 'Spring' side and brown on the 'Fall' side with 7 day intervals marked on each.
 
 
Riverside California USA Equatorial Dial Dial 18
An equatorial dial 47 inches in diameter made of stainless steel. It sits upon four sleek pillars setting on a concrete rise. The gnomon rod has a round disk with a hole to act as a nodus. The dial equatorial band has solstice and equinox lines, as well as a line showing the declination of the sun marked with by months and zodiac signs. Hour lines are marked by raised stainless steel Roman Numerals. Dial is corrected to Pacific Standard Time.
 
 
Rochester New York USA Equatorial Dial Dial 60
A large 40 foot equatorial dial. The dial band is about 5 feet wide with raised Roman numerals at each hour mark. The gnomon is a rod approximately 15 feet long, ingeniously suspended by wires at the center of the dial. No shadow of the support wires can be seen, just the line of the gnomon appears on the dial band.
 
 
Rock Island Illinois USA Horizontal Dial Dial 632
A horizontal dial approximately 30 inches diameter reportedly cast from an old brass (bronze, likely) cannon and weighing 175 pounds. Dial was weathered and damaged by vandals but restored in 1970 using black light to reveal the original engraved markings, which were re-engraved. Hours marked in Roman numerals with 2 minute marks. Noon gap mark aligns with North mark on base. The dial sits on a limestone base carved with crossed cannons and belt, date 1877.
 
 
Rock Island Illinois USA Analemmatic Dial Dial 974
This analemmatic dial is 20-foot wide within a 30-foot circle, all made of colored concrete. The Arabic dial hour markers follow an ellipse from 6 am to 6 pm. The dial is decorated with a botanical and Rotary Club theme. Gears and the Rotary 4-way test are interspersed with flowers and leaves of the four seasons.
 
 
Rockford Illinois USA Armillary Sphere Dial 401
A large stainless steel armillary dial approximately 10 feet in diameter. The equator and sunrise/sunset meridian bands are about 6 inches wide, with other bands about 3 inches wide. The central gnomon is a stainless steel rod with an open shaped arrow point and tail. The hours on the equatorial ring are raised bronze roman numerals with 15-minute intervals marked by bronze dots. The time marks are set for daylight saving time, with sunset at VII. Marks continue to VIII
 
 
Rocklin California USA Vertical Dial Dial 238
Small, circular 12.5 in. vertical dial mounted 56 in. above ground on the south wall of the library. Dial is aluminum mounted on concrete. Hour line missing from 6AM to gnomon base. Wall faces 26 degrees SW. Hour lines, numbered only at 6, 9, 12, 3 and 6. Two memorial plaques adjacent to dial. One reads 'Sierra College Honors/ E. R. 'Russ' Fallon/ for Dedicated Services/ Building Inspector/ Building and Grounds Supervisor/ 1959-1975'. Other reads 'In Admiration and Fond Memory/ of Our Colleague/ Dwight Hall/ 1927-1972/ by the/ Academic Senate and Friends/ at Sierra College.'
 
 
Rockville Maryland USA Horizontal Dial Dial 823
A simple stainless steel gnomon 5-inches in diameter sits on a 6-foot concrete dais. Surrounding the dais are brick pavers with two circular bands of granite pavers. The interior band is for daylight saving time hours of engraved numbers filled with a gold color and a similar outer band for standard time hours. The granite pavers also mark the cardinal points engraved in gold, and extended as east-west and north-south lines from the dais. What makes this dial both unique and beautiful is the low brick and concrete surrounding walls with inscriptions from famous authors on both the interior and exterior faces.
 
 
Rolla Missouri USA Sun Alignment Dial 301
Stonehenge-like half-scale model. 5 trilithons. A south-facing trilithon carries a pierced brass plate which projects a spot of sunlight on a folded analemma pattern. Stone.
 
 
Roselawn Indiana USA Horizontal Dial Dial 971
This dial consists of a fiberglass 18-foot high 36-foot gnomon in the shape of a bare tan-colored human leg. Hence the dial's name of "The Leg". The tip of the toe acts as a nodus. There are no hour lines and no declination lines. Instead, during summer months a series of hour markers are arranged on ground beneath the path of the nodus shadow.
 
 
Roswell New Mexico USA Horizontal Dial Dial 490
A beautiful bronze sundial sits on a pillar of rough marble. It was given to the Library by the Roswell Womens Club at the turn of the 20th century. Unfortunately the dial is damaged, but the Roswell Womans Club is searching for someone to repair the dial.
 
 
Round Lake Beach Illinois USA Horizontal Dial Dial 802
This is an octagonal-shaped horizontal dial 240 mm (9.5 inches)across. The photo-etched plate has a central compass rose and delineated with a half hour circle and second circle dividing the time into quarter-hour increments. Roman numerals mark the hours from 6am to 6pm, with an extra hour mark to extend the dial's time-telling from 5am to 7pm. The dial is adjusted for the longitude of the site. Atop the dial face is a sturdy filigree gnomon approximately 5mm wide and 90mm (3.5 inches) high. South of the gnomon is a graphic Equation of Time.
 
 
Saanich British Columbia Canada Horizontal Dial Dial 935
The dial is simply but pleasingly decorated. The gnomon is plain. The pedestal is carved from stone taken from ruins of the Basilica of Ste. Anne de Beaupre in Quebec. The Quebec connection is indicated by the use of a Fleur De Lys on the dial face, and Napier's Scottish heritage is referenced by thistle motifs on brass accoutrements fitted to the pedestal.
 
 
Saanichton British Columbia Canada Horizontal Dial Dial 936
A simple horizontal bronze sundial about 9 inches in diameter. A sun occupies the interior of the dial with hour lines extending to a chapter ring with Roman numerals marking the hours. Each hour is divided into eight parts along the outer edge of the dial. The dial sits on a square plinth with corresponding square stepped base.
 
 
Sacramento Peak New Mexico USA Cylindrical Dial Dial 317
The bronze cylindrical dial is 5-foot in diameter. The dial reads time and date from a rod gnomon cast onto an engraved, equatorial band. The dial shows date bands and solar time corrected for longitude (3 min 17s west of the 105 degree meridian). The dial is accurate to about one minute. At the noon hour line is an analemma showing the correction to mean time. The armillary sphere was designed and built by observatory staff members Dr. Don Neidig, Scott Gregory, and Mitchell Davis.
 
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