Sundials - World's Oldest Clocks

North American Sundial Society

Selected Sundials of California

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 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.
 
 
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 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 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.
 
 
Capitola California USA Equatorial Dial 786
A wrought iron equatorial dial with an arrow rod gnomon. Equatorial band and support have iron scroll work depicting a bow and arrow. Dial is painted and hour numerals are obscured. This dial in on private property but the dial is fully visible from street.
 
 
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. The original horizontal dial was about 16 in. diameter, made of bronze with a circular plate with Roman numerals on a plain concrete column and displayed the inscription, "Count none but the sunny hours."
 
 
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. Indicated time is accurate to one minute throughout the winter and to five minutes in summer. This is remarkable because the dial is located just outside a children's playground and children routinely climb on the dial and swing from the gnomon. An animation from digital images showing the gnomon shadow motion over the course of a full year is available. Dedicated as the Ralph B. Larkin Memorial Sundial. Rev. Larkin was a retired missionary who taught science to children for 17 years in Claremont. Dr. Larkin's father was Edgar Lucien Larkin, Director of the Mt. Lowe Observatory above Los Angeles 1900-1924 using a 16-inch Alvan Clark refractor telescope, described by Alvan Clark as, "the finest telescope I ever made." Ralph Larkin often said, "I grew up with a telescope." The Mt. Lowe Observatory was destroyed in a windstorm in 1928 and the Alvan Clark refractor was moved to Ricard Observatory at the University of Santa Clara, California.
 
 
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. The dial is embedded in a three foot cube cast concrete pedestal bearing a bas relief image of a horned toad, mascot of the Coalinga High School and the city centennial dates 1906 - 2006.