Sundials - World's Oldest Clocks

North American Sundial Society

Oxford  

Sundial: 103
State/Province:  Ohio Country:  USA
Dial Type:  Armillary Sphere Condition:  Excellent
  Latitude and Longitude: 39° 30.387' N  84° 44.074' W
Location:
  • Miami University Campus. Dial stands at the north head of the beautiful South Quadrangle near Minnich Hall.
 
Description:
  • A 6 foot armillary sphere sitting on a marble column supported by a ring of turtles. The armillary has equatorial, meridian, polar and equatorial rings, plus the arctic and antarctic rings near the poles. Along the outside of the equatorial ring are golden figures, marking the houses of the zodiac. On the inside of the equatorial ring are Roman numerals marking the hours. The armillary was a gift to the university on its 50th anniversary by the Miami chapter of Delta Delta Delta sorority. The plaque given coordinates of latitude and longitude of the dial that are slightly different than those from Google Earth, which are the coordinates given here.

    The turtles that support the sphere are emblems of eternity, according to the October 1986 issue of the Alumnus. It is said that if a student rubs the turtles’ heads they will receive and ‘A’ on their next exam. Some students do rub the turtles’ heads below the bronze dial religiously.

    In 2019 the golden bull, Taurus, was stolen off the zodiac. Dan Accrocco, Miami project manager, was tasked with replacing it. A photo of the Taurus was provided by Bill Greene and Karl Reiff, mechanical and manufacturing engineering, and two of his graduate assistants created a clay model of the animal. The clay cast served to create a rubber mold that in turn created a wax casting. Using a form with the casting inside, bronze was poured, cooled, and finished, completing the zodiac once again.
 
General Information:Inscription:
  • Owner: Miami University
  • The Armillary Sundial
    was a gift to the university in 1962 on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of its founding by the Miami chapter of Delta Delta Delta set on true north, this precision instrument was made for the spot on which it stands
    Latitude 39 30' 27" North => 39 30.450 really 39 30.387
    Longitude 84 44'05" West => 84 44.083 really 84 44.074
    It tells the exact solar time on April 16, June 14, September 2, and December 25. The six rings denote the four great circles of the sphere and the two polar circles the axis of the earth, shown by the shaft points to the north star and its shadow on the belt of the equator, decorated with the signs of the zodiac, indicates the hour.
  • Designer: Clifford M. Proctor, sculptor, Fairfield County CT
  • Builder: Kenneth Lynch & Sons, Wilton, CT.
  • Construction Date: Dedicated 1962
 

Attachments Available:

Last Revised: 2020-02-05 12:03

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