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.

 

Arizona

 
Tucson Arizona USA Projection Dial 735
A fused silica glass spherical lens projects a solar image spot onto the inner surface of a spherical segment of glass with a frosted area inscribed with hour lines and Arabic hour numerals. Time is read from the bright spot of light on the frosted surface while standing under the dial. Dial is mounted atop a pipe pillar on the patio of the Visitor Center.
 
 
Tuscaloosa Alabama USA Equatorial Dial 189
A 5 foot bronze and steel equatorial dial with pinhole gnomon in front of the North River Yacht Club.
 
 
Twin Falls Idaho USA Analemmic Equatorial Dial 839
This beautiful stainless steel equatorial is approximately 1m in diameter with brass inlay for the equatorial time, divided down to the minute. This is also an analemmic sundial where the brass gnomon is cut out in the shape of an analemma allowing the user to directly correct for the equation of time. The analemma is marked with 365 individual date marks.
 
 
Ukiah California USA Horizontal Dial 624
A horizontal dial of welded steel plate using weld bead for hour lines and numerals. Marked for PST.
 
 
University Park Pennsylvania USA Armillary Dial 64
A bronze armillary dial with meridian and equatorial rings and Arctic and Antarctic circles on a stone pedestal.
 
 
Urbana Illinois USA Horizontal Dial 289
Horizontal dial 14 inches diameter, with 5 inch tall gnomon. Sits on stone pedestal 40 x 40 x 42 inches.
 
 
Vail Arizona USA Analemmatic Dial 599
A brass and concrete analemmatic dial set in the Butterfly Garden at Colossal Cave Mountain Park at 3415 feet elevation. The dial is 21 feet E-W across the hour markers. A hand-held rod gnomon 143 inches long includes a bubble level for positioning. There is a modest park use fee to view this dial.
 
 
Vallejo California USA Equitorial Dial 235
A 5-foot equatorial sundial with elegant time and meridian supporting arcs. The gnomon A 5 ft. aluminum polar dial. The gnomon has the profile of the Golden Gate Bridge. Time is marked in both standard and daylight saving time with Roman numerals. The dial was a gift from Vallejo's Sister city, Akashi, Japan.
 
 
Vancouver British Columbia Canada Equatorial Dial 645
A 30 inch diameter bronze equatorial dial. A slot in the rotatable gnomon project a line of sunlight onto the equatorial ring displaying Arabic hour numerals. Dial is corrected for longitude. Dial is mounted on a 53 inch high stone pedestal. This dial is also known as the George Cunningham Memorial Sundial as it was sponsored by the Cunningham Drug Stores to commemorate the opening of their first store in 1911 at a nearby corner.
 
 
Vancouver British Columbia Canada Horizontal Dial 648
A large concrete and pebble horizontal dial with a 30 foot high gnomon. Hour lines are wood dividers in concrete with Roman numeral hour markers. Dial center and gnomon are situated in a lily pond. Dial is on private property but is fully visible from public street.
 
 
Vancouver Washington USA Equatorial Dial 659
A 2 meter diameter ring equatorial dial of welded anodized aluminum plate. The dial face shows Arabic numerals with hour and quarter-hour marks. This face can be moved for longitude correction and DST, and was originally adjusted to correct periodically for EOT. In 2009, the original straight gnomon was replaced with an analemmic gnomon, eliminating the need to adjust or correct for EOT.
 
 
Vancouver British Columbia Canada Vertical Dial 919
This bright and colorful vertical dial declines west, showing "Hours to Sunset" (Italian hours). The dial is held up by two posts on a board 60 x 90 cm (24 x 36 inches). The dial face is decorated in the colours of the rainbow, with a band of color for each hour left to sunset. Quarter hours are marked using thin white lines. The dial was commercially printed on aluminum-plastic laminated material, with a UV protective coating. The gnomon is a repurposed decorative gate hinge. The supporting structure is made from red cedar.
 
 
Vancouver British Columbia Canada Horizontal Dial 920
This is a 25 cm horizontal dial engraved on a 1/4 inch yellow metal plate (probably bronze). It shows local solar time. The hour marks look precise and consistent, but upon closer look are oddly arranged. The dialist attempted to shift the dial hour lines to correct for longitude (3.17 deg west). The AM hour lines are fairly accurate except the earliest hour lines (IV, V) which inconsistently meet the gnomon foot on the wrong side. The PM hour lines seem to mirror the AM lines except that 3 degrees had been added to each, rendering inaccurate time throughout the afternoon. The gnomon is slightly bent, and nearby buildings and trees block the dial at some times of day. The dial is decorated using simple geometric and visually pleasing patterns. Shallow engraving is used for the hour lines (making them a bit difficult to read), labels, and decoration. The gnomon has a bird engraved on each side and sits on a wedge base. The dial sits on a short granite pedestal with a polished top surface, and was commissioned by his parents in memory of Robert Carlyle Howard (born 1953, died 1970).
 
 
Vancouver British Columbia Canada Horizontal Dial 925
A delightful dial in a delightful setting, well worth the modest admission fee. It is an 18 inch patinated bronze disk mounted on an elegant white granite pedestal, with the hours adjusted to the time zone. The face is a finely crafted bas relief delineated in quarter hours, with the hours labeled using Roman numerals. The lower part of the dial shows the Arms of UBC, along with the leaves and flower spikes of a plant. In keeping with the medicinal purpose of a Physic Garden, the sculpted gnomon features a snake (a traditional symbol for a physician) entwined around a poison chalice (a traditional symbol for a pharmacist). A plaque on the pedestal dedicates the dial to Frank Ebenezer Buck, 1876 - 1970, UBC’s first Landscape Architect. The pedestal is from the 1920s, predating the dial, and was used elsewhere in the Botanical Gardens for their now-lost original sundial.
 
 
Vancouver British Columbia Canada Analemmatic Dial 927
The analemmatic sundial is laid within a 15-foot circle of light red concrete, set in the middle of a large grey concrete concourse on the south side of the school. Hour points are marked by 4-inch bronze disks embedded in the concrete; the declination scale is made of embedded tiles. The scale is red in part and blue in part, denoting the summer and winter periods. Correspondingly, each hour point hour is labeled twice; red for Daylight Saving Time and in blue for Standard Time. The dial incorporates a longitude correction for the time zone, and features Sunrise & Sunset Markers ("Bailey Points"). All labels were hand-painted by students - a deliberate measure intended to require occasional repainting and hence continued student engagement and involvement with the dial over the years.
 
 
Vancouver British Columbia Canada Equatorial Dial 931
A simple but elegant and well-executed bronze equatorial dial by renowned local sculptor Gerhard Class. It is about 24-inches in diameter and is mounted on a 16 x 16 x 36-inch plinth of nephrite jade, damaged at one corner. The gnomon has a central slit and can be rotated about the polar axis to create a narrow beam of light for precise reading of the sun's position. The dial shows local solar time plus one hour, corresponding to Daylight Saving Time. The dial's construction is technically perfect but, sadly, the dial appears to be misaligned with the gnomon axis pointing 7 deg west of north.
 
 
Vancouver British Columbia USA Horizontal Dial 932
This was once a very beautiful sundial sitting on a short concrete pedestal. Now it has a missing gnomon and the dial color is uniformly aquamarine except where the coating has been rubbed away to reveal a white substrate. Tapping the dial face makes a dull sound suggesting the dial is not metal and may be hollow. A possible explanation is that the dial could be made of some kind of cast resin or fiberglass and was then spray-painted. The dial face itself is elegantly sculpted into five sectors, showing clusters of flowers, berries and fruits, creating a pronounced 3D effect. Because of this, the hour lines are reduced to short ticks at the edge of the dial face. The dial shows solar hours, marked off using Roman numerals.
 
 
Vernon British Columbia Canada Analemmatic Dial 933
On a barren hill sits a simple analemmatic dial in an area cleared of brush. Rather than standing on a walkway that is common for outdoor analemmatic dials, this one uses a movable poles gnomon guided in a slot. The slot is surrounded by an analemma with dates allowing the pole to be adjusted for the date of viewing. The central date scale assembly is wooden. The dial hour marks are concrete disks with glass mosaics on top created by local artist Connie Vetter-Johnson. Above the noon hour mark is a larger disk with a glass mosaic image of a hawk. Photographs of the site hint that some of the hour marks may have been inadvertantly moved out of position.
 
 
Victoria British Columbia Canada Horizontal Dial 813
This brass horizontal sundial was designed and engraved for use in the town of Hope BC by British Royal Engineers in 1860. The circular dial is 8 inches diameter with a triangular gnomon. Time lines are engraved at 15 minute intervals from 4 am to 8 pm. The dial is on display in the museum beside other survey instruments and the red uniform of a Royal Engineers Sergeant.
 
 
Victoria British Columbia Canada Horizontal Dial 572
A replica 12-inch bronze horizontal dial on a concrete plinth. This dial is a memorial for Marjorie Napier, a twelve-year-old St. Ann's student who died on 31 May, 1922. The original dial and limestone plinth were moved to Queenswood, a private retirement home for elderly nuns and seniors. A plaque for the replica dial reads, "In memory of Una Holm (Robertson) Class of 1928. Thank you the Sisters of St Ann's, the strength of Sister Eleanor Marie and the Rock which was St Ann's Academy. Replica sundial donated by husband Sandy E S A Holm and their daughter Karen Michaelson (Holm) Class of '53."