District of Columbia Selected Sundials

Click on any photo or city name to get more sundial details and more photos.
 
Washington District of Columbia USA Armillary Dial 588
A 20 inch diameter bronze armillary on a four foot pedestal. Roman hour numerals from 3 AM to 9 PM.
 
Washington District of Columbia USA Analemma Dial 491
With a bit of whimsy at the end of each day for over two years, Dr. James Griffith marked the position of a ray of sunlight on a wall that entered from a west window overlooking the Potomac river. The result is an analemma, tracing the sun's position at 4:10 pm E.S.T. throughout the seasons. Dr. Griffith was a chemist, but as written on a plaque next to the analemma, "Exactly what this has to do with chemistry per se is not perfectly clear, but Viva Principia Scientifica!" Photos may be seen on Walt Sanford's web site.
 
Washington District of Columbia USA Horizontal Dial 316
A horizontal dial 26 inches in diameter with a 9 inch gnomon. Has hour and half hour lines from 5 am to 7pm with 10 minute marks. Made of chocolate sandstone. South of the gnomon is an engraving of two children walking under a tree. Designed by John Carmichael
 
Washington District of Columbia USA Dial 310
Bronze sundial on a concrete column.
 
Washington District of Columbia USA Horizontal Dial 297
Bronze 36 in. sundial. "Garden of Eden". Gift of estate of Paul Manship
 
Washington District of Columbia USA Dial 284
Bronze 4.5 ft. sundial, titled "Time and the Fates." Gift of estate of Paul Manship
 
Washington District of Columbia USA Armillary Dial 257
The bronze armillary sphere dial is unremarkable yet is oriented accurately and is complete. About 2 feet in diameter. Hour numerals are Roman and show 5 AM to 7PM. It commemorates a longtime gallery official.
 
Washington District of Columbia USA Horizontal Dial 256
Octagonal horizontal dial, mounted at ground level. Designed by Richard Schmidt of the USNO staff and cast by Alex Bigler of Equestrian Forge celebrates the 100th anniversary of the move of the USNO to its present site at Observatory Circle. The USNO was founded in 1830. Public, but by appointment only (202-762-1438).
 
Washington District of Columbia USA Horizontal Dial 218
Horizontal dial 12 in. square designed and built by David Shayt and David Todd of the Smithsonian Institution. Roman numerals, 5AM-7PM. Subdivided into 15 minute increments. Also has compass rose. Dial sits atop a rectangular granite pedestal.
 
Washington District of Columbia USA Horizontal Dial 210
Circular horizontal dial 20 in. diameter cast in bronze. Has Roman numerals at hours and 15 minute marks. Gnomon missing from dial, but kept by groundskeeper, as it will not stay in place. Was temporarily re-installed for the NASS tour in 1995. The dial is modern, honoring George Donald Meid for service to the National Academy. Dial is mounted atop a concrerte cylindrical post.
 
Washington District of Columbia USA Horizontal Dial 208
Large, ground level horizontal dial 16 ft. in diameter with 49 in high stepped hollow painted-green metal gnomon that is 5 ft 16 in long. Roman hour numerals with hour lines from 4:30 AM to 9:30 PM. Gnomon structure recalls the much larger Indian observatory dials. An appropriate poetic passage, once bolted to the gnomon, has disappeared.
 
Washington District of Columbia USA Vertical Dial 207
Vertical bronze dial with Arabic numerals and long cast sunburst gnomon. On oblong sandstone. Dial is 60-80 feet up on an octagonal power plant smokestack. It is difficult to read, but safe from vandalism. School dated 1928. Similar to Eastern High School (#202).
 
Washington District of Columbia USA Vertical Dial 206
Sandstone Vertical declining dial, with gnomon offset to account for it. Above doors to rear terrace of admissions building. Arabic hour numerals with half hour lines. Carved hourglasses on both sides frame the dial. Brass compass rose set into the brick terrace below suggests the general alignment of both house and dial.
 
Washington District of Columbia USA Armillary Dial 205
Very nicely armillary sphere about 3 ft. diameter, with equatorial, meridional and hour circles. Roman hour numerals from 5 AM to 7 PM. One of Washington DC's cleanest examples of a working armillary sphere. Erected by the Georgetown Garden Club in 1956 in tribute to Sarah Louisa Rittenhouse. Dial is placed atop a sandstone pillar.
 
Washington District of Columbia USA Horizontal Dial 204
Horizontal dial about 16 inch square made of bronze. Gnomon is 4.125 inch high, 5 inch long. Below gnomon is motto, "Horas non numero nisi serenas" (I only count sunny hours). House was built in 1805 and is now open to the public as a museum. Years before this property was opened to the public, a family member brought this dial from Crossbasket Castle in Scotland, the family seat. The lengthy inscription is probably a later addition, since it is unlikely that they would be quoting Whittier in Scotland. The gnomon angle is 39° 30', probably made for the Washington DC location. However, the dial plate has a latitude of about 48° N, certainly not Scotland. What is the true origin of this dial?
 
Washington District of Columbia USA Horizontal Dial 203
In the Bishop's garden is a weathered 13th C. capital on which sits a 41 cm diameter horizontal brass dial. It is engraved with “Tho Heath, London” and the year 1712. On the noon line is the indication "Hammersmith", a location on the (then) outskirts of London at 51:30N 0:14W. Heath is one of the Grocers' Company mathematical instrument makers Many of Heath's dials have a coat of arms.
 
Washington District of Columbia USA Vertical Dial 202
Vertical dial with bronze Roman numerals and trefoil pierced gnomon on square sandstone. Dial is on south facade over main entry, facing East Capitol Street. School is dated 1923. Elevation above entrance is approximately 30 ft. making dial hard to read. Large projecting towers place dial in shadow in early morning and late afternoon. Similar to McKinley High School dial (#207).
 
Washington District of Columbia USA Collection Dial 122
Smithsonian collection of dials
 
Washington District of Columbia USA Horizontal Dial 34
A cathedral landmark. 6 foot rectangular crypt with a 2 foot circular horizontal dial in bronze. Adjoining the dial is a cross noon marker that casts its shadow onto the crypt with major Christian holidays marked through the year. Gnomon has a folded shape of 2 cm width but the hour lines form only one dial center although the space at noon gap is 1 cm.
 
© 1995-2014 NASS