This year’s NASS conference was held in Hartford, CT with 50 attendees. There were many presenters from sculptor and sundial designer Robert Adzema to Mike Shaw, one of four attendees from the UK. There were many interesting dials on display, including Fritz Stumpges “Solar Flair” dial, Larry Bohlayer’s “Sun Vial, Bill Gottesman’s Spiral Sundial, Mac Oglesby’s shadow plane dial, Mayall’s Cube dial at CIGNA, Waugh’s pillar dial at University of Connecticut, and Judy Young’s “Sunwheel” stone alignment circle at University of Massachusetts in Amherst. Tom Kreyche presented a paper describing his computer program to update and expand NASS’s Dialist’s Companion software while Sara Schechner discussed the interrelation of sundials, time and Christianity, drawing upon many European cathedrals that served as giant meridian sundials. As with a number of previous conferences, it rained or was sunless for much of the Saturday sundial tour.
The attached PDF file begins “For the second year in a row, the Sun shone brightly on the annual NASS conference,” even though it was held at the University of Washington in Seattle. A large number of sundial related displays, outdoor demonstrations, and a local tour of Seattle area sundials provided “hands-on” experience for the conferees. Woody Sullivan, conference host, described the “hands-on” experience of designing and building the large vertical dial on the Physics and Science building. Len Berggren presented history of gnomonics in medieval Islam, pointing out that the time of afternoon prayer is defined in terms of gnomon shadow length. The Seattle tour of sundials included the analemmatic sundial in Gasworks Park, dials at Billings Middle School, and the Webster Park Equatorial Sundial among many others. See what you missed, and download the PDF for all the details.
About 45 members of NASS attended the third annual conference in the windy city of Chicago. The Adler Planetarium hosted the conference and provided a tour of their fine collection of astrolabes and sundials. Of particular interest was the special sundial exhibit prepared by Sara Schechner Genuth for the conferees in the History of Astronomy Department. NASS sessions started with John Shephed describing his design of a vertical declining sundial 56 feet wide. Warren Thom talked about sundial computer aided design using several popular programs. Fred Sawyer took the mathematical side and presented a new sundial, described as “Ptolemaic Coordinate Sundials” which he invented in response to a British Sundial Society challenge. Download the PDF for full details.
The NASS conference was held at the University of Toronto, where a number of unique dials were presented, including Paul Lapp’s garden analemmatic dial, and Bill Buckler’s analemmatic gnomon on an equatorial dial. Sara Schechner Genuth presented a paper on historical dials as evidence of consumer culture and Don Petrie explained his model sundial used to teach gnomonics. The dial tour included the Royal Botanic Gardens and the Michener Institute of Medical Technology.
Our first NASS conference was held in Washington, D.C. with a small group of about a two dozen people meeting at The Smithsonian Institution on the mall. The group one common interest: sundials. During the conference, the group was able to visit a special display of dials and rare books on dialing in the Smithsonian collection. Papers equinoctial clocks, analemmatic sundials and digital sundials were presented. George McDowell organized a sundial tour of “Twelve Sundials of Washington” that included dials at the National Cathedral, Eastern High School, and an enigmatic sundial at Tudor Place.