Sundials - World's Oldest Clocks

North American Sundial Society

Selected Sundials of Maryland

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Accokeek Maryland USA Armillary Dial 118
Copper armillary dial 18 inches diameter. Two main rings are square1/2 inch tubing. Other parts of armillary are made of flat copper, about 3/4 inch wide. Has Roman numerals. Probably built by Ferguson family and installed in the 1920's. The dial base is cast cement, partly fluted, about 3-1/2 foot high, round at top, square at bottom.
Annapolis Maryland USA Self-Orienting Dial 174
4'x4' Bronze & Brass 4' Dial plate is elaborately engraved bronze with hour and date lines. Self-orienting dial. Locate line for the date; rotate dial until shadow tip touches that line. Read time from intersection of the shadow's tip and the time line radiating from dial center. Gnomon is a model of a naval missile, resting on an anchor. A ship's binnacle supports rotating sundial plate. As of July, 2012 the missile gnomon is missing.
Annapolis Maryland USA Horizontal Dial 181
18" Bronze on stone Gnomon 10" long, 6.25" high 'United States Naval Hospital Annapolis MD' on dial face below 6AM/PM lines. Tells local apparent time. Has Arabic numerals, hour lines and shorter half-hour lines. Dial sits atop a circular stone pedestal with beveled capital.
Annapolis Maryland USA Armillary Dial 765
A bronze armillary dial with meridian, horizon and equatorial rings on a concrete pedestal. Dial is located in Government House residence and requires a tour of the property for access.
Baltimore Maryland USA Horizontal Dial 323
Nice horizontal dial sitting on a 6 x 4 foot stone pedestal. The dial itself is 5 foot in diameter with a 2.5 foot gnomon of open-work bronze. The lines, numerals and lettering of the dial face are so finely done that one cannot tell whether the dial plate was made of cast stone or was carved by an extraordinarily skilled mason. The gnomon, unfortunately, is situated incorrectly on the dial face. The point at which the stile diverges from the dial plate is about five inches south of the correct point where the hour lines converge.
Baltimore Maryland USA Horizontal Dial 324
A horizontal dial 36 inches in diameter, made of bronze, sitting on an irregular pentagonal block of granite. Gnomon missing. Calibrated to read local solar time, and has a graph of the Equation of Time to correct readings to standard time.
Baltimore Maryland USA Horizontal Dial 325
A 12 inch diameter horizontal bronze dial. A wire is stretched from the dial's center, which is decorated as a cluster of flowers, to the beak of a bird perched on the rim of the dial plate, forming the gnomon at proper angle. The bird is apparently the 'early bird' eating the worm (gnomon). The dial plate itself has hour lines and Roman numerals from 5 am to 7 pm. Dial sits atop a cast concrete post with octagonal top.
Baltimore Maryland USA Horizontal Dial 326
'Very bad small dial on a beautiful stone pedestal. The engraving on the base states that it was erected in 1908. At some point the dial face went missing. A new dial was installed sometime before 1966. It is doubtful that the existing dial is a replica of the original. The stylistic differences between the design of the pedestal and the design of the new dial which sits atop it are apparent.' (McDowell)
Baltimore Maryland USA Equatorial Dial 327
The dial is a partial cylinder held upright at the proper angle by four ornate pillars. The gnomon is a wire stretched between another pillar at the south edge and the mouth of an eagle mounted on another pillar at the north edge. On the wire is a bead, the shadow of which falls on the cylindrical plate. The cylindrical plate has an analemma for each daylight hour of standard time.' (McDowell) One of three known to be made in this design. Another dial of this design, once in front of the Physical Laboratory at Northwestern University, was placed at a private residence in New Hampshire in 1973, Evanston, IL.
Baltimore Maryland USA Polyhedral Dial 91
Bronze on stone. Renovated 1904 and again in 1994 (by George McDowell.). It is a 17-facet hemispherical compendium dial. Has facets calibrated for local solar time for Baltimore, Jeddo [Tokyo], Honolulu, Sitka, Pitcairn Islands, San Francisco, Cape Cod, Rio Jancito, London, Fernano Po, Cape Town, Jerusalem, and Calcutta. Has a polar and vertical dial for Baltimore time. Built in 1892 by Peter Hamilton, 19th C Baltimore stonecutter, became president of the company which supplied granite for the Library of Congress building. Repaired and reset in 1904. Reworked in 1993. The original pedestal remains, consisting of a stone pillar carved to resemble the trunk of a tree.
Baltimore Maryland USA Vertical Dial 243
18 x29 inch vertical dial. Solar noon analemma, equinox and solstice lines, horizontal lines, line showing approx shadow lengths on April 15 and Aug 31. Lines sandblasted into veined white Carrera marble. Dial is calibrated for EDT. AM hours indicated by shadow of stile's western edge, PM, by shadow of its eastern edge. When shadow tip is bisected by appropriate seasonal segment of the line of the analemma, it is 1:06:35 PM.
Bethesda Maryland USA Horizontal Dial 258
A simple but elegant horizontal bronze dial approximately 18 inches in diameter. Design is a standard design used at U.S. Naval Hospitals. This dial was built specifically for Bethesda Naval Medical Center. Has plain raised hour lines and half-hour lines with Arabic numerals. The dial tells time from 6 AM to 6 PM. The dial base is octagonal stone that tapers into a graceful pillar. The dial sits in a shallow stone bowl about 3 feet from the ground.
Bethesda Maryland USA Horizontal Dial 461
A simple but elegant horizontal bronze dial approximately 18 inches in diameter. Design is a standard design used at U.S. Naval Hospitals. Has plain raised hour lines and half-hour lines with Arabic numerals. The dial tells time from 6 AM to 6 PM. The accompanying plaque reads, "Cast especially for the Naval Hospital at Brooklyn, New York. This bronze sundial stood on the grounds from 1924 until the hospital was disestablished in June 1948?" The dial is reclined by two degrees to accommodate the latitude of Bethesda, MD. The dial sets on a simple cylindrical pillar.
Bethesda Maryland USA Horizontal Dial 462
A simple but elegant horizontal bronze dial approximately 18 inches in diameter. Design is a standard design used at U.S. Naval Hospitals. Has plain raised hour lines and half-hour lines with Arabic numerals. The dial tells time from 6 AM to 6 PM. The accompanying plaque reads, "This sundial stood on the grounds of the Old Naval Hospital at Hospital Point Pearl Harbor, Hawaii during the Japanese attack of 7 December 1941. The dial is inclined to accommodate the latitude of Bethesda, MD. The dial sets on a simple cylindrical pillar.
Bowie Maryland USA Vertical Dial 372
A small vertical stone dial with a weathered wood gnomon is mounted with iron brackets to the wall of Sacred Heart Chapel. The dial is about 26 inches wide by 16 inches high. The inscribed longitude of 00 deg 20 min East is correct for the United States Prime Meridian which goes approximately up 16th Street in Washington DC. In 1853, fire destroyed everything but the walls of the chapel; it was reconstructed in 1858. The present stone dial is reported to have been made by Francis J. Deutsch, Sr., replacing and duplicating the original. See NASS Compendium Vol. 5, No. 3, Sept., 1998. The whole dial is now covered with white paint and the gnomon which is set at 42? is placed upside down. The wall is 7? SE but the dial was designed for true south.
Bowie Maryland USA Vertical Dial 712
The Bowie Portal Dial is a 48x66 inch vertical dial of frosted glass atop two 15 foot tall steel beams. The dial face has bronze filigreed hour lines, Roman hour numerals and a supported bronze gnomon. The translucent glass allows the dial time to be read from both sides. At ground level the two steel beams are surrounded by steel benches covered in granite and form a portal with the silhouette of playing children cut of brass sheet riveted to the stainless steel base. The 11 foot wide base depicts running horses cut in brass and sits atop a 16 foot diameter compass rose. The base includes a plaque with the EOT.
College Park Maryland USA Horizontal Dial 260
Very large horizontal dial 25 foot in diameter. Concrete dial with bronze gnomon 6' 6" high at tip. Has hour markers on raised circular slab. Metal disc with university seal in center of pierced gnomon. Adjacent graph provided correction for both EOT and mean/standard time differences. Due north or gnomon are shadow markers for date of year. Relocated May 1991 to present site.
Gaithersburg Maryland USA Compound Polar Dial 51
Briggs Commemorative Sundial. One of the more complex and elaborate ones in the US. The dial plate lies parallel to the earth's axis of rotation. The dial has three gnomons. The upper and lower point out Eastern Standard time, the middle one indicates local apparent (solar) time throughout the year. A copy of the brochure is in the NASS Archives.
Hagerstown Maryland USA Horizontal Dial 701
A 16 inch octagonal bronze horizontal dial with hour lines and Arabic numerals. Dial face includes boldly raised representations of five different flowers identified by botanic names. Original gnomon has been replaced. Dial is placed atop an octagonal concrete pedestal with stone base.
Hollywood Maryland USA Horizontal Dial 373
A 26 inch hexagonal, English-made slate horizontal dial with a 3/8-inch thick, knife-edge bronze gnomon and no noon gap. Dial face has hour, half-hour and quarter-hour marks in inner bands, and 3-minute marks in the outer band. Hours are marked with Roman numerals. The dial sits on a hexagonal pedestal carved with coats-of-arms of families that lived at the plantation, including the Plater, Briscoe and Satterlee families. The dial face has four concentric bands of hour numerals. The outer band reads local time with an inscription that notes local noon is also noon at Boston, Peru and C. Redondo, and midnight at Borneo and Chinese Tartary. The second band shows noon in New Zealand, London and other locations. Two additional inner bands show noon in still other cities around the world. The plantation house overlooking the Patuxent River was constructed between 1710 and 1717 by James Bowles. Bowles died in 1727 and Sotterley Plantation passed through Plater and Briscoe ownership. The plantation was bought by Herbert L. Satterlee in 1910 and restored, including his vision of an 18th century garden in which he placed this sundial, received as a gift, in 1925. Admission fee is required. Call 301-373-2280 for hours.