Sundials - World's Oldest Clocks

North American Sundial Society

Davis  

Sundial: 950
State/Province:  California Country:  USA
Dial Type:  Analemmatic Dial Condition:  Excellent
  Latitude and Longitude: 38° 32.220' N  121° 47.250' W
Location:
  • On the campus of University of California, Davis, in the Honey Been Haven Garden
 
Description:
  • This colorful analemmatic dial is an opening of the garden path made of decomposed granite. The sundial is 18 feet wide in the E-W direction and just a bit more than 9 feet in the N-S direction. Tile hour marks go from 6am to 7pm, with an additional tile above the 12-noon saying "PST" (Pacific Standard Time). Since there is no longitude correction, the sundial actually shows local solar time. But a nearby plaque with the Equation of Time allows the user to determine true civil time. Bailey Points for showing the direction of sunrise and sunset have not yet been included. The central walkway is made of colorful tiles, with each tile representing one month that is clearly labeled.

    Richard Williams worked on the design of the sundial for several years. Where the calculations were straightforward, creating the ceramic tiles was a challenge. With the help from his wife, a ceramic artist, the challenge was warping of the large tiles during firing. It took several trials to get tiles that were flat. He chose to use the Schluter System and epoxy grout for installation to ensure the sundial's durability.
 
General Information:Inscription:
  • Owner: University of California, Davis
  • A plaque "The Equation of Time" has both graph and table of the EOT. Next to them is an explanation of the sun's daily time variation.
  • Designer: Richard Williams
  • Builder: Richard Williams
  • Construction Date: Installed April 30, 2019
 
References:
  • The mission of the garden is to educate about bees. Orientation using the sun, specifically the angle of the sun relative to the hive, is an essential part of bee navigation and communication. This is an interesting connection between bees and sundials that will be highlighted with an interpretive sign that will go with our sundial.
    Christine Casey, Ph.D.
    Academic Program Management Officer
    Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven
    Department of Entomology and Nematology

Last Revised: 2020-05-24 21:13

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