Sundials - World's Oldest Clocks

North American Sundial Society

Des Moines  

Sundial: 106
State/Province:  Iowa Country:  USA
Dial Type:  Horizontal Dial Condition:  Excellent
  Latitude and Longitude: 41° 35.443' N  93° 36.290' W
Location:
  • West terrace of the Iowa State Capitol building
    between E. Grand and E. Walnut streets, close to E. 9th Street (Finkbine Dr.).
 
Description:
  • This beautiful horizontal brass dial is 24 inches in diameter, cast onto a larger circle 28 inches in diameter. The dial has raised hour, half-hour, and 15-minute lines drawn in esthetic proportions from 5 am to 7pm. Roman numerals are on the outer rim. In the center to the left and right of the gnomon is a table for the Equation of Time in 15 day increments. The dial rests on four brass columns 20 inches high, which are mounted on a brass base 28 inches in diameter. The entire structure is centered on a concrete octagon 6 1/2 feet across.
 
General Information:Inscription:
  • Owner: State of Iowa
  • Inscribed "To Honor Our Fathers The Grand Army of The Republic",
    "Erected by the Daughters of Union Veterans of the Civil War 1861 - 1863 "September 1938"
  • Designer: Daughters of Union Veterans of the Civil War
  • Builder:
  • Construction Date: September 1938
 
References:
  • Iowa Profile: "This bronze sundial was dedicated to Union veterans of the Civil War during their 1938 Grand Army of the Republic encampment in Des Moines. Nearly three million Union soldiers fought during the Civil War. In 1938, an estimated 5,000 were still living. More than 100 these veterans, most over 90 years old, attended the encampment. Dr. D.W. Morehouse, then president and astronomy professor at Drake University, installed and adjusted the timepiece."

Last Revised: 2019-08-03 16:39
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