Sundials - World's Oldest Clocks

North American Sundial Society

Sundials of North America

This is a complete listing of sundials in the North American Sundial Society Registry. Click on any dial thumbnail picture or city name to display the full dial listing and images. To see sundials from a particular state or province, you may click on the list at right to see all registered sundials in that state, province or country (at bottom) displayed in city order.

You may also type into the NASS search field at upper right any search word such as "equatorial" to get a list of all articles mentioning equatorial dials and a list of all equatorial sundials in the registry. (Try other dial types: "vertical", "horizontal", etc).

 
 
Breaux Bridge Louisiana USA Equatorial Dial Dial 992
This is a simple but well designed equatorial dial made of a steel frame and 4-foot diameter aluminum equatorial band. This time band can be loosened from its frame and rotated to an equation of time offset position that's based on solar noon according to dates on a placard fixed to the base. When adjusted, the dial shows time to within a minute. The 10-minute time marks and Arabic hour numbers used vinyl numbers and strips as cover during sand-blasting of the aluminum time band. The vinyl was removed leaving the reflective and polished marks and numbers against the grainy sanded aluminum. (This process was first done on a test piece five years earlier and placed it in direct sunlight - no signs of deterioration or coloring. So this is a relatively easy and permanent alternative to chemical etching). Attention is given to alignment with the base adjusted in azimuth and the dial adjusted with a set of three-point latitude and skew alignment bolts. This dial is an excellent study in functional design. According to the builder, "It was a real fun project. Getting it designed and properly setup was challenging. It has given me a keen appreciation for what it must have taken to build some of the great dials around the world!"
 
 
Nanaimo British Columbia Canada Horizontal Dial Dial 991
This is a beautiful but standard mass-produced dial, with chapter rings for Roman numerals, hour lines, half and quarter hour lines. In the center is the sun surrounded by a compass rose, The dial is brass and sits on a tapered square pillar of cut stone. The gnomon is a solid, unadorned shape. Pictorial evidence from the Internet suggests that the dial has been vandalized and repaired more than once.
 
 
Vancouver British Columbia Canada Sculpture/Artwork Dial 990
This artwork along Prince Edward street stretches about 1.5 mile (2.4 km). The latitude and longitude are given for the mid point. As public art the installation is know as Solar Patterns I and II. They are a collection of metal banners attached high on street poles and at eye level, an explanation of the pattern in the banner. Each banner consists of a yellow or orange aluminum sheet perforated with round holes representing the sun following a simple curve that is part of the analemma. The third dot from the top of the banner is replaced by an image of the sun as conceived by various artists ranging from school children to iconic images from various cultures to historic representations of the sun from cave paintings.
 
 
Lake Cowichan British Columbia Canada Horizontal Dial Dial 989
This is a beautiful but standard mass-produced dial, with chapter rings for Roman numerals, hour lines, half and quarter hour lines. In the center is the sun surrounded by a compass rose, The dial itself is brass, but sits on a round cast iron base all sitting on a square concrete pillar. The gnomon was vandalized and now is missing. The base is losing its protective coat of paint and starting to rust. A thick hedge has grown up around the sundial, obscuring the sun on the east, south and west sides. It appears to be largely ignored.
 
 
Fort Wayne Indiana USA Horizontal Dial Dial 988
This is a large 20 foot diameter horizontal dial embedded in the cement sidewalk. Brass hour lines extend from the edge of the circular dial to the toe of the gnomon. The gnomon itself is a brass triangle, tarnished except for its tip that is frequently rubbed by visitors. Arabic numerals mark time by hours from 6 am to 6 pm.
 
 
Fort Wayne Indiana USA Horizontal Dial Dial 987
This horizontal dial is 16 inches square, made of limestone with a brass gnomon. The gnomon angle is 30 deg, certainly not correct for the dial's latitude of 41 deg. Nonetheless, it appears that the dial was made for its site as the gnomon and dial numbers are rotated on the square to point due north. Arabic numerals mark time by hours from 8 am to 6 pm, with raised hour lines extending toward the gnomon. The equation of time is shown as a graph on one side of the plinth. The limestone is deteriorating with age and is now covered with lichen. The 3 and 4 pm numbers are nearly obliterated and in several more years many of the other hour numbers will vanish. The dial is situated under trees with little opportunity to see the sun.
 
 
Fort Wayne Indiana USA Armillary Sphere Dial 986
This is a 32 inch diameter armillary dial made of painted steel. The gnomon is a classic arrow at a 41 deg angle. The equatorial band is painted black with bronze colored Roman numerals indicate the hours from 6 AM to 6 PM. The dial is mounted on a field stone plinth.
 
 
Houston Minnesota USA Analemmatic Dial Dial 985
A simple analemmatic dial laid out in a square concrete base. The walkway and hour surrounds are black with white lettering. The hours are Roman numerals run from VI (morning) to VIII (evening). The dial is adjusted for daylight saving time and longitude such that when the sun is on the meridian, the dial shows about 6m after 1pm.
 
 
Webster Groves Missouri USA Armillary Sphere Dial 984
The armillary sphere has three rings: (1) an equatorial time ring made of brass formed into an incomplete circular arc with a 36 inch inner diameter, a thickness of 1/2 inch, and width of 3 inches. Time markings in 15 minute intervals are inscribed on its inner surface with Arabic hour numbers; (2)a meridian ring made of steel formed into a circular arc 37 inches diameter, a thickness of 1/2 inch, and a width of 3 inches; and (3) a horizon ring made of steel into a circular arc 38 inches in diameter, with a thickness of 1/4 inch, and a width of 2 inches. The sundial is supported on a steel pedestal having an open square frustum construction. The gnomon is a steel rod having a pointed arrow tip aimed towards the North Celestial Pole.
 
 
St. Louis Missouri USA Vertical Dial Dial 983
The Mullanphy School is the last school of 48 designed by and constructed under the guidance of William B. Ittner (1864-1936), an architect and Commissioner of School Buildings for St. Louis, MO. Only hour lines are marked on this simple vertical sundial. The picture of the sundial was taken at 1:41 PM CDT on 7 May 2019. Using the relation T(solar) = T(civil) + EOT - Daylight - LonCorrection, with EOT=3.3m, Daylight=1h, and LonCorrection=1m, indicates that the dial should show 12:43:31. This suggests that Ittner’s sundial at the Mullanphy School displays this sundial time to a reasonable approximation, especially considering that its only time markings are hour lines.
 
 
Logan Ohio USA Analemmatic Dial Dial 982
An analemmatic dial set in a gravel rectangle. It has a concrete walkway and circular hour markers in two ellipses for standard and daylight time. The hour numbers are adjusted for longitude, shifting them by 30 minutes (such that the due north line reads 12:30).
 
 
Magdalena New Mexico USA Obelisk or Vertical Gnomon Dial 981
This vertical gnomon sundial sitting on a 46-by-35-foot concrete slab was constructed using concrete piers of a solar mapping radio telescope array that Robert Bracewell originally built near the Stanford University campus. The array was abandon in the 1980's. The 10 piers were moved to the VLA in 2013 and arranged as a vertical gnomonic dial. NASA: "As for most sundials the shadow cast by the central gnomon follows markers that show the solar time of day, along with solstices and equinoxes. But markers on the [Bracewell] radio sundial are also laid out according to local sidereal time. They show the position of the invisible radio shadows of three bright radio sources in Earth's sky, supernova remnant Cassiopeia A, active galaxy Cygnus A, and active galaxy Centaurus A."
 
 
Saskatoon Saskatchewan Canada Vertical Dial Dial 980
It is a replacement for a south-facing vertical dial that was in the same location until the 1990s. It is approximately 4-foot wide by 12 -foot long. The gnomon is a metal rod held by four struts. The dial tells local solar time, showing Roman hours from 6am to 6pm. There is an elaborate Equation of Time graph and instructions for use at the bottom of the dial. At the top is latitude, longitude and elevation.
 
 
Joplin Missouri USA Vertical Dial Dial 979
This is a simple but nicely engraved vertical sundial about 2-foot square made of concrete. The hour lines are delineated every half hour and marked on the hour in Arabic numbers. The gnomon is at least 1-inch thick, now epoxied into place. The hour lines converge correctly to the morning and afternoon toe of the gnomon, but no split noon hour line is seen. The dial is slightly recessed into the brick wall on the eastern edge correcting the Joplin street lay out of 1873 that used magnetic north that was 10 degrees east of north.
 
 
Stafford Virginia USA Vertical Dial Dial 978
This vertical dial is 12 feet tall and nearly 20 feet wide. It is made of quarter-inch aluminum. The white hour lines running from 10am to 5pm are 4-inches wide. They run from the summer to winter solstice. The blue solstices and equinox line are quarter-inch aluminum 5-inches wide. The gnomon base is a yellow sun 10-inches in diameter with a 2-inch diameter gnomon. The nodus on the gnomon is a sphere 6-inches in diameter.
 
 
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.
 
 
Des Moines Iowa USA Horizontal Dial Dial 976
This is an ornate 12-inch diameter bronze horizontal dial with a central sun underneath the gnomon. Surrounding the the sun is an 8-point compass rose. On the chapter ring the hours are embossed from 5am to 7pm in Roman numerals that face outward. Time is delineated every 10 minutes. The gnomon is simple but too long for the dial, extending 2 inches past the dial edge. The place where a motto might be placed is empty, awaiting a bronze insert.
 
 
Des Moines Iowa USA Horizontal Dial Dial 975
This is a 32-inch diameter horizontal dial made of stainless steel. Hour lines are engraved for every half hour and extend from summer to winter solstice based on the tip of the triangular gnomon. Hours are marked in Arabic numerals. Between the solstice limits are declination lines for the first of each month. Note that the inscribed latitude and longitude are slightly in error.
 
 
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.
 
 
Davenport Iowa USA Horizontal Dial Dial 973
This is a 40-foot diameter sundial made only from flowers. Hours are shown from 6am to 6pm. The gnomon is made of steel and wire mesh with sweet autumn clematis growing on it. The clematis vines are kept trimmed and tied up to keep the shadow from getting too big. The gardner commented, "If I were doing it over I would use a metal piece for the shadow finger." There is a steel frame in the ground to mark the outer edge and all the divisions of where to plant the plants inside the bed. The plants in the inner area of the sundial change from year to year – in 2019 it was two colors of marigolds. Alternanthera or Joseph’s Coat are used on the outer edge by the numbers. These flowers are sheared to keep them low and compact. The numbers are planted with green Alternanthera and surrounded by a band of red Alternanthera. These flower numbers are sheared with small electric grass shears and kept about 2 inches above the red band. Other plants in the sundial garden include large “elephant ears,” cactus-like agave, alyssum, ageratum and lime green and purple nicotiana. The purple nicotiana becomes fragrant after dark, providing an olfactory as well as a visual delight for visitors watching the lights play on the fountain.
 
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