Which Conference Did You Attend?
20th Annual NASS Conference Print
Posted: Sunday, 02 March 2014 19:21



The North American Sundial Society is holding its 20th annual conference in Indianapolis IN from the 21st – 24th of August, 2014, hosted by Mark and Phyllis Montgomery and George and Betsy Wilson.  The conference will be held at the Hilton Indianapolis North Hotel, located 26 miles from the Indianapolis International Airport (special NASS hotel rates apply) with sundialists attending from the US, Canada, and abroad.  Come hear about the latest advances in gnomonics and new sundial designs (yes, the variety of their creation is a lively art nass_news_2014_mar_AmericanLegionDial-305even if the science is nearly 800 years old).  Sundialists from North American and around the globe will make presentations on sundials, gnomonics, and the history of sundials.

There will be a bus tour of Indianapolis are sundials on Friday the 22nd.  Could there be a famous tower in Indianapolis that looks like a sundial but isn’t?  Will it be on the tour of sundials? Join the conference to find out!  One sundial that is on the NASS tour will be The American Legion Sundial, a beautiful armillary sphere.   And, a special conference sundial is being designed for each conference attendee, but since it’s made for a specific latitude and longitude, sign up early.  We’d like to know before April 1st if you will be coming … and knowing your latitude and longitude is necessary at the latest before July 1st.  If your paid registration has not been received by that date, you will not receive the conference sundial. Interested in coming?  Want to give a paper on some aspect of sundials? Show off a sundial that you’ve made? Contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it for more details.

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2013 Conference - Boston/Cambridge Print
Posted: Monday, 09 December 2013 12:48
[CHSI - Harvard Collection]
[Art Paque - Solargraphy - Oct 24th]

Appropriate to NASS’ visit, Harvard had just recently completed a new major exhibit entitled “Time and Time Again” offering conference members a unique view on the changes in time keeping and the social impact of timekeeping technology.  On Friday afternoon, NASS members followed the Time Trails through the Harvard campus, locating historical sundials “in the wild” and timepieces in the Semitic, Peabody, and Natural History Museums.  The day was finished by two presentations “Trading in Time: European Pocket Sundials Designed for Colonial Use in American Territories by Sara Schechner and “Portable Sundials in Austrian Museums” by Ilse Fabian.

During Saturday a plethora of sundial talks were presented by NASS members, including “Counting the Sunny Hours” by Roger Bailey to a new “Wandering Gnomon Sundial Designn” by Fred Sawyer.  Bob Kellogg presented the making of an animation illustrating the Ibn al-Shatir sundial proposed for Observatory Park in Virginia for the Analemma Society.  One of the most color presentations was Art Paque’s update on Solargraphy, illustrating the technique of forming daily images of the sun a photographic paper that at the last is digitally scanned and preserved.

[John Goodman - Annosphere]
[Barry Duell - Senba Toshogu Shire Stair Alignment]

Larry McDavid continued the scientific instrument theme, presenting a detailed description of the Dent Dipleidoscope that offered unprecedented accuracy in measuring the sun’s noon transit.  John Goodman then described the “Design of the Annosphere” a device with epicyclic grears to show the rotation of the earth throughout the year, predict sunrise and sunset and much more (http://www.annosphere.com).

Barry Duell continued his exploration of shadows at the Senba Toshogu Shrine, looking at stair shadows and the relation to near Easter alignments. At Senba Toshogu Shrine there are already two moveable feasts celebrated the anniversary of Ieyasu's triumphant entry into Edo, and Kuyo for Ieyasu's bones to be interned). The shrine built (1st-1633, 2nd-1640) at the time of Japanese Christian persecution, might harbor other hidden alignments for Easter, celebrating Jesus in parallel with Ieyasu's death.

Many other intriguing sundial talks were presented.  Read more from the attachment.

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2012 Conference - Asheville Print
Posted: Saturday, 25 August 2012 19:44

nass_news_2012_aug_nass_1The North American Sundial Society held its 2012 conference in Asheville NC, August 16-19.  Alice Io Oglesby and Hugh Munro, local hosts and sundial enthusiasts, took NASS members on a sundial tour through Asheville and the rolling hills of western North Carolina to see the vertical dials at Sunny Point Café and the analemmatic dial of the “kitchen garden” at the Biltmore Estate.  In Burnsville, NASS members saw the Quilt Block Sundial, one of over 200 colourful quilt block paintings along the North Carolina Quilt Block Trail. NASS was welcomed by the Mayor of Burnsville and had the Quilt Block sundial explained by Bob Hampton, astronomer designer and Martin Weaver artist. The Quilt Block Sundial in Burnsville was a most impressive example of teamwork and community support. Travelling further, Brian Leonard showed the armillary sundial he fabricated and installed in Marshall, NC.

The NASS conference included exciting talks on a colourful “Parallel Time East West Sundial” presented by new NASS member Peggy Gunnerson and shadow alignments at Toshogu Shrine by Barry Duell of the Tokyo International University.  Frank King talked about a most unusual circular analemmatic dial he designed for the Metropolitana of Naples (an Italian job).  Dr. King was also this year’s recipient of the Sawyer Dialing Prize.  Roger Bailey discussed dials of Mallorca and the “Box of Sapphires”, a compendium designed by Ibn al-Shatir in the 14th century. Fred Sawyer gave a most interesting talk on “Projected Refraction Sundials with Ambigram”, and at the NASS dinner on Saturday, he distributed a special gift to NASS participants: a location specific projected refraction sundial with the ambigram showing “CARPE” on the dial and “DIEM” in the projected shadow.  Other speakers with interesting presentations included Alice Io Oglesby, Bill Gottesman, Dudley Warner and Ken Clark.  Next year’s conference is being planned for Boston.




Photos shown: (Top) NASS conference participants underneath Bob Hampton's Quilt Block Dial; (Bottom Left) NASS members examine Alice Oglesby and Hugh Munro's vertical dial at Sunny Point Cafe; and (Bottom Right) Bob Hampton's Equatorial Dial made from a bent yardstick.

2011 Conference - Seattle Print
Posted: Monday, 23 January 2012 23:32

2011_UnivPrepAcademyPillarDialSeattle: Sundial Capital of the United States?  The 2011 North American Sundial Society had perfect blue-sky weather for its annual conference held in August 2011.  Professor Woodruff “Woody” Sullivan, conference host at University of Washington started the fest by showing off the large vertical sundial built in 1994 on the side of the Physics and Astronomy Building.

 NASS members presented a variety of sundial interests from Mark Montgomery’s “spot sundial” to Art Paque’s pinhole camera that records the sun’s path through the seasons.  Fred Sawyer discussed the historical figures La Hire and Picard while Helmut Sonderegger, this year’s recipient of the Sawyer Dialing Prize discussed the Rheticus Memorial sundial designed for Georg Joachim Rheticus, the first Copernican. 

Download the PDF and read about the conference in detail, including the bus tour of Seattle dials visiting the Pillar Dial of University Prep Academy, Epiphany School Vertical Dial, and Rebecca Cummins analemma and colored skylights in the ceiling of the Montrose Public Library.

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2010 Conference - Burlington Print
Posted: Sunday, 13 February 2011 16:38

2010_GottesmanPond_SundialFrom paper sundials to street side sundials, NASS celebrated its annual conference in Burlington, VT.  Kate Pond’s “Come Light, Visit Me” sundial, in collaboration with Bill Gottesman, was dedicated at Champlain College.  The sundial uses the properties of an equatorial ring, casting the shadows of time upon itself.

Fred Sawyer talked about Antique Hour Lines, showing finally that the lines are amazingly complex, but come very close, but not exactly to the traditional notion of a straight line.  André Bouchard discussed Le Gnomoniste, a review of the Quebec sundial society 1993-2010.  Roger Bailey gave a short presentation on the solstice points on analemmatic sundials that can be used as sight lines for summer and winter solstice. Roger Bailey gave a detailed talk on the Ibn Al-Shatir Sundial, whose design he studied in detail to produce the Ottoman Garden dial in Missouri.

 Bert Willard, the Springfield Telescope makers Historian and Curator described the sundials and sunclocks from James Hartness and Russell Porter.  Porter is also know for his leadership in amateur astronomy.  Jack Aubert probed into the question of who was first to describe the Equation of Time and the figure “8” analemma.  Finding that the first to draw it with reference to a mean time meridian was Grandjean de Fouchy at the Palace de Petit Luxembourg in Paris sometime before 1741.

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