Dials of Interest
Oldest Sundial in the Western Hemisphere Print
Posted: Thursday, 30 June 2011 21:39
Where would you look for the oldest dials in the Western Hemisphere?  One is attributed to the Pilgrams in Salem in 1620.  Earlier slate dials were used by Newfoundland fisherman.  But La Fortaleza, in San Jaun, the oldest Executive Mansion in the New World may lay claim to the oldest sundial.
The story starts around 1645 under the fule of Fernando de la Riva y Aguero when a sundial was installed on a tower of la Fortaleza.  Download the attachment and read the story for yourself.
FileDescriptionFile size
Download this file (Sundials in the Antilles.pdf)La Fortaleza SundialOldest Sundials in the Western Hemisphere?291 Kb
It Looks Like a Sundial - But Is It? Print
Posted: Thursday, 30 June 2011 21:05

Recent examination of our Sundial Registry revealed dials that no longer exist and have been replaced with something else that might resemble a sundial, but isn't.  Consider the brief entry of Dial 56 that may have once existed in Albuquerque, New Mexico on 9 Mimosa Road:

Thanks to Andy Robertson
"5.5' stile, hour lines marked by 1/2' wire rope on grade. Total area is about 1000 square feet.  Analemmatic Dial" The description comes from a typed letter explaining that the dial was "built for research and marketing purposes".

This sounds impressive. One could image a 20 x 60 foot analemmatic dial carefully laid with stone markers and a large five and one half foot vertical staff stile casting shadows to the ground.  Andy Robertson, a dial enthusiast in  Albuquerque took camera in hand and in June 2011 visited the dial location.  Here's what he photographed:

This is not an analemmatic dial.  It's not a dial at all, but a lovely, modernistic sculpture.  It one of those angular bars had pointed to the north celestial pole and the Archimedes spiral was flattened to be in the plane of the celestial equator, this could have been a very impressive sundial.  Alas, it is just a work of art. And the Albuquerque dials #55 through #58 have been removed.  Dials that might have existed, but certainly no more.


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