California Selected Sundials

Click on any photo or city name to get more sundial details and more photos.
 
Arcata California USA Armillary Dial 192
Armillary dial with horizon ring 4 ft. 4.5 in. diameter designed by Ken Lynch. Dial is made of brass and horizon ring has signs of the zodiac on it. Mounted at ground level with a separate plaque with Equation of Time. After the dial was installed the university ordered the point on the end of the gnomon sawed off. It was feared that someone might become impaled on it. Gift of Harvy S. Kieval, Professor Emeritus - Math.
 
Berkeley California USA Armillary Dial 612
A bronze armillary sphere dial on a quarried stone pedestal. The equatorial ring includes hour lines with 15-minute marks and Roman numerals.
 
Berkeley California USA Statue Dial 423
This is a large granite statue by Richard O'hanlon entitled "Sunstone II" and was designed in collaboration with astronomer David Cudaback. A north-south large polished granite slab has the top cut at the latitude of 38 degrees to sight the North Star. A hole in the stone allows east or west viewing, with limiting angles designed to show the extent of maximum planetary and lunar wandering. An east-west stone crosses the north side of the granite slab, allowing light to pass only at noontime onto a heel stone with marks for Equinox and Solstice. Access by admission to the Hall of Science museum
 
Berkeley California USA Horizontal Dial 422
At the edge of the bay is a round horizontal sundial about 10 feet in diameter with a stark triangular gnomon. Both gnomon and dial base are of hammered concrete. The base rises above the ground by about 2 feet where Arabic numbers encircle the dial to tell the hours. The dial face is not quite level, perhaps to help with water runoff.
 
Berkeley California USA Horizontal Dial 16
A 16 inch diameter horizontal dial made of bronze. Gnomon is 8 in. long, 5 in. high. A classic horizontal dial on a 4 foot marble pedestal. Donated in 1915 by Class of 1877. Includes EOT table by date. The dial sits atop a marble pedestal.
 
Carlsbad California USA Vertical Dial 734
A large vertical dial on an east-declining south stucco wall of an elevator tower in the parking lot of McClellan Airport. The gnomon, hour and declination lines and Arabic numerals are stainless steel. The dial design is flawed, incorrect for either a point-in-space nodus dial or a polar-inclined gnomon dial. The installed gnomon is horizontal but if intended to support only a nodus, the location is wrong; the nodus shadow is outside the lower declination line in the photos. The hour lines radiate from the gnomon base as for a polar-inclined gnomon; they should radiate from a point much higher if for a point-in-space nodus.
 
Carmel California USA Equatorial Dial 179
A simple 12 inch diameter equatorial ring dial of rusted steel on a cast iron base bolted to a brick floor. This replacement dial has Arabic numerals and the base has Zodiacal symbols. The original "Sundial Lodge" was renovated as a boutique hotel but during the construction the original horizontal dial was lost.
 
Claremont California USA Equatorial Dial 505
A 90 inch diameter spherical segment equatorial dial ten feet high of masonry construction with 3D fiberglass analemmic gnomon 40 inches long. Dial terrazzo face has hour, half-hour, quarter-hour and 5-minute marks with Roman hour numerals for PST. The 5-minute marks are one inch apart. Dial face includes analemma graphic with month dates; a plaque describes how to use the analemma graphic to select which side of the gnomon shadow to use to read time. Base perimeter has 12 ceramic plaques with Zodiacal signs.
 
Coalinga California USA Horizontal Dial 764
A 26 inch diameter hand-carved, lacquer-coated beige sandstone horizontal dial set flush in a massive cast concrete pedestal. Dial has a thick stone gnomon, hour, half-hour and quarter-hour lines with Arabic ST hour numerals corrected for longitude. Face is marked with symbols showing sunrise and sunset times on solstices and equinoxes and with location coordinates. Dial face includes a hand carved graphic of a Valley Oak tree, symbolic of the San Joaquin Valley dial location.
 
Colma California USA Horizontal Dial 21
This large ground-level horizontal dial is 50 ft. diameter. Formerly a floral dial with a cypress tree as gnomon and hour lines crafted out of plants such as santilina shrubs, during the 1960's the dial was changed to concrete and aluminum.
 
Culver City California USA Equatorial Dial 536
Located near the edge of a hill in Culver Park, this dial commands a fine view of the surrounding communities. The equatorial dial face is a six foot diameter, six inch thick brass ring supported by a 24 foot long steel gnomon six inches in diameter. The gnomon is anchored in a concrete oval-shaped base covered with tile and mosaics. The base and three surrounding water-drop shape ovals are inscribed with the word "Time" in the 12 languages spoken in Culver City. Ballona Creek, visible from the sundial, once provided transportation, food and recreation for a thriving native American population and later for Spanish-origin ranch owners. The dial north face has the 1:00 hour line at the bottom for Daylight Savings Time while the south face has the 12:00 hour line at the bottom for standard time. A bronze plaque states time is read from the center of the gnomon shadow and briefly discusses the equation of time. The dial is not longitude corrected and indicates local apparent time.
 
Death Valley California USA Vertical Dial 76
Handsome vertical dial in copper or bronze on tiles and terra cotta. Located on the side of the fireplace chimney, at second floor level. Arabic numerals.
 
El Cajon California USA Armillary Dial 214
Armillary dial about 3 ft. diameter designed by Don LeGrande. As of Christmas 1992, a stunning armillary sphere-type of sundial ... The framework of the dial is constructed of burnished stainless steel. ... The rod-like gnomon was destroyed by vandals many years ago, but the rest is in good shape.
 
Fullerton California USA Horizontal Dial 529
This 18-inch cast bronze horizontal dial is located in front of Heritage House, the relocated office and home of early Fullerton physician Dr. George C. Clark. The gnomon edge is tapered to a single style. Dial sits atop a cylindrical cast concrete pedestal 28-inches high.
 
Huntington Beach California USA Vertical Dial 78
A 7x8 foot direct south facing vertical dial of wood with metal gnomon on the masonry stucco side of a fire station building. Hour lines are painted on wood planks bolted to the side of the building. Metal Arabic DST hour numerals are mounted to the wood planks. Longitude correction is not included and there is no EOT correction or instructions offered but dial is accurate when both corrections are applied.
 
Joshua Tree California USA Armillary Dial 625
A 5 foot diameter steel armillary sphere with 6 foot gnomon rod. Inner surface of equatorial ring has cast Roman numerals; outer surface has cast Zodiac signs colored gold. Sphere is supported by 13 inch high four-flange base. Dial sits on a 42 inch high cast concrete cylindrical base.
 
Los Altos California USA Gnomonic Dial 498
A triangular entry canopy 13 feet height by 128 feet wide by 26 feet deep at the Georgina Blach Intermediate School casts a shadow on the front pavement walkway. The pavement is etched with a gnomonic projection to show the hours and seasons. The dial was created by architects Lisa Gelfand and Andrew Davis who did considerable research for the dial. Their design was submitted to the school district for approval. It's a fun sundial and the students and teachers love it.
 
Los Angeles California USA Calendrical Dial 593
A bronze-faced meridian arc dial 18 feet long, 13.5 feet high and 7 inch wide. Displays the meridian line and is inscribed with month and day markings, seasonal and lunar indicators and constellation figures. An overhead lens projects a solar image on the inscriptions. A large adjacent symbol is positioned to indicate which set of date markings is to be read from the meridian line. In a modern twist, photoelectric sensors embedded in the face of the arc are activated by the transiting spot of sunlight and send a signal to illuminate LED indicators on the 22 foot wide stainless steel ecliptic chart overhead, lighting up the stars of the constellation through which the sun is passing.
 
Los Angeles California USA Sculpture Dial 309
A sundial sculpture by Martha Oathout Ayers. More information about this dial is needed.
 
Los Angeles California USA Equatorial Dial 77
A bronze equatorial ring dial with taut wire gnomon on concrete pedestal. Ring is inscribed with hour, ten-minute and minute lines. Plaque states the dial indicates correct watch time so observatory staff periodically rotates clamped ring to correct for EOT, longitude and DST. Dial is located adjacent to the Astronomers Monument atop which is a large bronze armillary. The monument recognizes Hipparchus, Copernicus, Galileo, Kepler, Newton and Hershel. The sundial was originally built into the base of the Astronomers Monument but was relocated a few feet to the south during the 2002-2006 remodeling to allow visitors to more closely approach the dial. The dial sits atop a concrete pedestal.
 
Los Angeles California USA Vertical Dial 17
A vertical dial on a large granite cube. Similar to the one in Bloomfield CT. Both dials were made for CIGNA Insurance Co.
 
Mount Laguna California USA Equatorial Dial 170
The odd bowl-shape of this equatorial dial designed and built by C.T. and W.M Thwaites shows a reversed engraved map of the world. A horizontal bar across the bowl has a small metal nib which points out the time of the day (top and bottom for standard and daylight times) and also indicates the spot on the world where the Sun is currently directly overhead. On full Moon nights, this dial has been used to effectively tell time and show the position of the Moon over the Earth as well.
 
Oakland California USA Projection Dial 613
One of Bill Gottesman's unique-design Renaissance dials of cast and structural bronze with a 27 inch diameter helix with a celestial-north aligned axis. Time is told by a focused beam of light that moves around the helix throughout the day. The light beam is reflected from a long cylindrical unsilvered mirror in a structure that supports the helix. A sliding time scale within the helix can be adjusted for EOT and DST and includes longitude correction. Once this scale is adjusted for date, the dial shows civil, or clock, time. The dial base is cast bronze allowing adjustment for latitude and placed on a concrete pedestal.
 
Oakland California USA Sculpture Dial 307
Bronze sundial sculpture by Robert Paine. The sundial was donated to University High School in 1927 by Sara Bard Field in honor of her son Albert, who was killed in 1917 in an automobile accident. Albert was the high school senior class president in 1917. His mother Sara was a leading suffragist on the West Coast. The High School has been renovated and now used by Children's Hospital Oakland Research Institute (CHORI).
 
Oakland California USA Horizontal Dial 236
Large horizontal dial, with steel gnomon 22 ft. long, 14 ft. high. Constructed of three welded pieces of 2-inch thick steel plate, the dial sits in a courtyard. There are no hour lines, only hour markers are placed on the lawn and brick patio around the dial. EOT values for every 5 days are shown on the north face of the support.
 
Palo Alto California USA Vertical Dial 482
A vertical declining dial approximately 45 x 55 inches. Made of aluminum and brass. Shows the hours from 8 am to 5 pm using analemmas. Analemmas are bounded by the summer and winter solstices and a straight line through them shows the equinox. Daylight time is shown using Roman numerals, with standard time shown in Arabic. In keeping with the motto, a simple equation is written on the dial face, d/dt is not equal 0.
 
Palos Verdes Estates California USA Armillary Dial 740
A 1.5 meter diameter bronze armillary sphere atop a beige stone pedestal at the center of a 9 meter diameter pond or fountain. The Armillary includes meridian, equatorial and horizon rings as well as Arctic and Antarctic circles. The equatorial ring is perforated with Roman hour numerals and Zodiacal symbols. The central gnomon rod has a ball at the north end and an arrow tail at the south end.
 
Pasadena California USA Analemmatic Dial 643
A 14x8 foot analemmatic dial with an 8x2 foot gnomon-positioning calendar plinth. The dial is installed in the pebble and concrete patio of the Winnett Student Center. The hour markers and calendar line plinth are made of Granodiorite of Knowles, a muscovite-bearing biotite granodiorite rock quarried from Knowles Quarry at Raymond, California. A nearby wall plaque provides longitude and EOT correction. The dial is a gift from the Caltech Alumni Association as a sculpture, a public artwork and a scientific instrument. This dial is located on the private university campus but the public may walk on the campus grounds to view the dial.
 
Redding California USA Horizontal Dial 518
When is a bridge not a bridge? When it's almost a sundial. The 217 foot high suspension span called Sundial Bridge wants to be a sundial, and has come very close. The suspension pylon is aligned true north, but unfortunately performs as an inaccurate gnomon with an inclination of 49 deg (for bridge functionality) rather than for the 40.6 deg latitude of the site. The bridge is 700 feet long and weighs 1,600 tons. Funding for the bridge comes from the McConnell Foundation, Redding Redevelopment Agency, Federal Highway Administration, and Turtle Bay Exploration Park
 
Redlands California USA Vertical Dial 658
A 60x40 foot vertical dial of stucco, wood and brass, filling the south exterior wall of the building. Roman hour numerals show PST; Arabic hour numerals show PDT. Summer and winter solstice and the equinox lines are shown; the shadow of a nodus on the gnomon indicates the date.
 
Redlands California USA Equatorial Dial 293
Equatorial dial designed by Russ Busher. A semicircle of metal, pierced with numerals. Sun shines through numerals onto metal plate with vertical line mounted below. Semicircle in equatorial plane, plate in polar plane. Such a dial is frequently advertized in "Wind and Weather" catalog. Placed atop a wooden post.
 
Ridgecrest California USA Analemmatic Dial 679
A 20x15 foot axis analemmatic dial built of cement hour posts, metal markers and tile and lava rock on the high desert floor outside the museum building.
 
Riverside California USA Equatorial Dial 18
An equatorial dial 47 inches in diameter made of stainless steel. It sits upon four sleek pillars setting on a concrete rise. The gnomon rod has a round disk with a hole to act as a nodus. The dial equatorial band has solstice and equinox lines, as well as a line showing the declination of the sun marked with by months and zodiac signs. Hour lines are marked by raised stainless steel Roman Numerals. Dial is corrected to Pacific Standard Time.
 
Rocklin California USA Vertical Dial 238
Small, circular 12.5 in. vertical dial mounted 56 in. above ground on the south wall of the library. Dial is aluminum mounted on concrete. Hour line missing from 6AM to gnomon base. Wall faces 26 degrees SW. Hour lines, numbered only at 6, 9, 12, 3 and 6. Two memorial plaques adjacent to dial. One reads 'Sierra College Honors/ E. R. 'Russ' Fallon/ for Dedicated Services/ Building Inspector/ Building and Grounds Supervisor/ 1959-1975'. Other reads 'In Admiration and Fond Memory/ of Our Colleague/ Dwight Hall/ 1927-1972/ by the/ Academic Senate and Friends/ at Sierra College.'
 
San Bernardino California USA Horizontal Dial 188
A 23 inch diameter horizontal bronze dial with 12 inch high gnomon and with hour, half-hour and quarter-hour lines from 5:30 AM to 7:30 PM and Roman hour numerals from 5 AM to 7 PM. Dial sits atop a 27 inch diameter stone pedestal 37.5 inch high.
 
San Carlos California USA Vertical Dial 424
This vertical dial is approximately 4 foot high by 6 foot long, mounted on the end wall of a house that can be publicly viewed. Dial has hour lines and lines marking the equator and solstice shadow limits. Made of wood and brass.
 
San Diego California USA Horizontal Dial 213
An elegant bronze dial of German manufacture.... about two feet in diameter. Constructed with beautifully machined and engraved brass or bronze. Dial sits atop a stone pedestal with bronze plaque.
 
San Diego California USA Vertical Reclining Dial 80
This dial was originally owned and installed at Sea World in San Diego but was sold and purchased by Verlyn Kuhlmann. A 39 inch diameter reclining vertical dial of cast concrete with a 20 inch long steel gnomon. Dial reclines about 50°. Includes cast hour lines with Arabic numerals and longitude correction. A separate plaque provides instructions and an EOT graph. The dial is mounted on a 24 inch square aluminum base plate and short column support.
 
San Diego California USA Armillary Dial 79
An armillary dial 55 in. diameter designed by L. Gordon Plummer. Rings made of 1/75x2 in. hollow steel hoops. Possibly gone now. Member Woody Sullivan unsuccessfully attempted to locate this dial in 1992.
 
San Diego California USA Vertical Dial 19
Above the southwest entrance of the Chemistry-Geology Building is a vertical declining dial built by Richard L. Threet in 1979. The dial uses thin aluminum tubing as a gnomon to cast shadows on a ring of hour and half hour lines approximately 9 feet in diameter. The lines were originally painted black on the white concrete wall with only the 9 am, 12 noon, 3 pm and 6 pm lines boldly numbered. Since then the dial has lost all but the 12.
 
San Francisco California USA Vertical Dial 421
Dial is on an outside wall above the entrance to a private residence. The dial was designed by Stan Musilek. The dial back is made out of galvanized steel. Metal rails indicate the hours. Instead of Arabic or Roman numerals, the proper number of steel balls indicate the time of each hour. Overall, the dial is 4 by 6 feet.
 
San Francisco California USA Horizontal Dial 420
A small 10-inch cast iron dial from England honors Shakespeare in a garden of the same name. The dial is on a small pedestal in the middle of the courtyard walkway and surrounded by trees. Lovely, but many shadows pass over the dial during the day. The dial plate was made for latitude 54 degrees. The gnomon appears to have been cut down to accommodate the 38 degrees for San Francisco. This "hack" method of correcting a sundial does not give correct time.
 
San Francisco California USA Horizontal Dial 419
This is a giant sundial 70 feet in diameter with a bright yellow painted steel gnomon 78 feet long. The dial has a cement base and was designed to be used as the stage for a surrounding amphitheater. Dial shows wear and abuse, with graffiti covering the lower portion of the gnomon. Still is awe inspiring.
 
San Francisco California USA Stone Sculpture Dial 418
This is a 16 ton granite statue by Richard O'Hanlon entitled "Sunstone I" and was designed in collaboration with astronomer David Cudaback. A small wall of rock with a round inlay of dark stone is supported high upon two tall vertical slabs of granite. At the back is a "heel stone" with marks to show where the sunlight strikes at the Equinox and Solstice.
 
San Francisco California USA Horizontal Dial 417
A plain but nicely done brass horizontal dial about 2 feet in diameter mounted on a simple concrete pedestal. The dial is in good condition, but about 50 degrees out of alignment.
 
San Francisco California USA Horizontal Dial 82
Built in 1913 as a promotion for a housing development that was once a racetrack, this dial boasted (incorrectly) that at 34 feet in diameter and 28 foot gnomon it was the largest dial in the United States. Nevertheless it gathered much publicity and newspaper articles of the day showed young girls dancing around a small pool that surrounded the gnomon. Bronze statues of porpoise were said to be in the pool. Today the statues are gone and the pool is green painted cement. Still, an interesting dial to visit.
 
San Francisco California USA Vertical Recliner Dial 20
Known as the "Navigators' Dial", this sundial is dedicated to three early explorers of the California coast. The dial itself is a sliced bronze globe of the earth sitting on the back of a tortoise. Overall, the globe hemisphere is about 2 1/2 feet in diameter, showing the world in relief centered on California. The flat face of the hemisphere is a beautiful vertical reclining dial. The dial sits atop a stone column. DIAL HAS BEEN REMOVED during remodeling of the De Young art museum - Apr 2002
 
San Ramon California USA Equatorial Dial 726
A 5x5x6.5 foot stainless steel equatorial heliochronometer dial with internal cam mechanism to correct for EOT. This exceptional dial is made of welded stainless steel sheet and weighs 255 pounds. The dial face of the 60 inch diameter equatorial ring is marked with hour, half-hour, 15 minute, 5 minute and one minute lines and Arabic hour numerals showing PST and PDT.
 
Santa Barbara California USA Equatorial Dial 232
A small bronze equatorial dial made by Victor E. Edwards in the 1920's. It has an unusual crescent shaped arm with notch at the upper end. The arm is rotated until sunlight through the notch strikes an analemma on the lower inner curve of the crescent. Time is then read on a circular dial from an "hour hand" pointer extending from the base of the crescent. The dial is mounted on a granite pedestal with spherical top 21 inch high.
 
Santa Clara California USA Equatorial Dial 774
A 5 foot 9 inch wide cast bronze ring equatorial dial on a low brick mortared pedestal. The full semicircular hour ring has hour, half-hour, fifteen minute and 5 minute marks, and Roman hour numerals. The dial is lightly patinated and has a central gnomon rod with arrowhead.
 
Santa Rosa California USA Equatorial Dial 476
An bronze equatorial dial about 2 feet in diameter. Stands in the middle of a Lotus flower
 
Sebastopol California USA Globe Dial 522
The sundial is a cement globe of the earth 28 inches in diameter inclined at 40 degrees, a bit off the site's 38' 20" N latitude. The globe is oriented with the site longitude on the upper meridian so that shadows across the globe represent the true sun angle at that moment. A rod through the globe casts a shadow onto the north polar regions in the summer. At the southern end is a small equatorial dial with hour lines from 8am to 4pm.
 
Sebastopol California USA Vertical Obelisk Dial 428
This is a vertical obelisk 3 foot on a side and 9 foot tall. It is more of a sun calendar than a sundial. The tip of the obelisk's shadow is tracked by marks on a concrete pad on the ground. The summer and winter solstices and equinoxes are indicated by tiles set in the pad.
 
Solvang California USA Vertical Dial 750
A cast or wrought iron vertical dial about 3 foot square painted black, prominently mounted at the roof line of the Royal Copenhagen Inn. The dial face has hour lines, half-hour marks and Roman hour numerals. The dial in not quite gnomonically correct as the building declines a few degrees west of south and the gnomon appears to be at 45° rather than 34.5°. The dial is visible from Mission Road.
 
Ukiah California USA Horizontal Dial 624
A horizontal dial of welded steel plate using weld bead for hour lines and numerals. Marked for PST.
 
Vallejo California USA Polar Dial 235
A 5 ft. aluminum polar dial. The gnomon has the profile of the Golden Gate Bridge. Dial was a gift from Vallejo's Sister city, Akashi, Japan.
 
Woodside California USA Horizontal Dial 558
A 15 inch diameter well-patinaed horizontal bronze dial on a stone pillar. This dial was designed for a different location. The hour lines are cut for 50° N; the gnomon angle is 46.5° and is miss-located on the dial face.
 
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