Sundials - World's Oldest Clocks

North American Sundial Society

Selected Sundials of Pennsylvania

Click on any photo or city name to get more sundial details and more photos.

 
 
Ambridge Pennsylvania USA Multi-faced Dial 104
In the garden of Old Economy Village is a 1964 reproduction of the historic 1825 original keep safety indoors. The 9-inch stone dial has four vertical dials on the E,W, N and S sides and one horizontal dial on top. The replica is in fair shape where the engraved hour lines are now severely weathered. The replica five iron gnomons are in fair condition, but still tell reasonably accurate local solar time. Each dial is delineated in half-hour marks with the hours shown in Arabic numbers.
 
 
Carnegie Pennsylvania USA Equatorial Dial 911
Anthony Vitale, a life-long steel worker and internationally know metal sculptor, designed a dial for the place he once worked: Carnegie Steel. He started with a flat length of steel 72 inches long, selected the distance between hour lines to be 6 inches, delineated in 15 minute intervals. The result was an equatorial half-ring 45.836 inches in diameter. He added 3 1/4 inches buffer on each side of the equatorial, creating an outer ring 52 inches in diameter. Along the meridian half-ring, the sun's declination is marked with months when a nodus cross bar casts a horizontal shadow at solar noon. The concrete base can unfortunately be rotated and it seems to point to the magnetic north, but bringing a compass or modern cell phone near the steel armillary instantly creates a distortion.
 
 
Chatham Village Pennsylvania USA Horizontal Dial 907
This bronze dial is about 12 inches in diameter. The outside chapter ring is delineated in 15 minute intervals with hours shown in Roman numerals from 4am-8pm. The gnomon has the profile of a bird under the style. An hour glass and wings on the dial face symbolize "Time Flies".
 
 
Elizabethtown Pennsylvania USA Vertical Dial 451
A 4x4 foot marble vertical dial declining 25° east of south with a copper gnomon, located above the center entrance of the Grand Lodge Hall and overlooking the formal garden of the Masonic Village of Elizabethtown. The dial face includes hour lines with half hour and ten minute marks and Roman numerals. An inscription, "ANNO DOMINI MCMXII" is located above the gnomon. The dial declines 25° east of south.
 
 
Farrell Pennsylvania USA Sculpture Dial 519
"Rising Rings" is a cast iron band 11 feet high by 17 feet in diameter with a hole that casts a beam of light onto a central ring monument on the equinoxes. The dial was commissioned by Dr. Swraj Paul, a steel mill owner, to honor his daughter Ambika who died in 1968 of leukemia at age four. This monument honors the inspiration her joy of life instilled in her father. At the central of the dial is a cast iron ring that holds a bronze image of her that is illuminated for several days twice a year. On two dates, Ambika's birthday and the anniversary of the mill's re-opening the noon sunlight passes through the circular opening in the larger ring and strikes markers on the inner ring. Miklos Simon created the portrait of Ambika mounted on the smaller ring.
 
 
Franklin Center Pennsylvania USA Equatorial Dial 139
A modernistic equatorial dial about 6 feet in diameter. The analemma shaped gnomon casts Eastern standard time onto a wide metal semicircle band. The hours with 10-minute marks are inscribed on the center of the equatorial band. This unique sundial tells the time, indicates the approximate day of the month and projects the zodiacal constellation signs as they are aligned with the sun and the earth in this era. It is accurate to within two minutes.
 
 
Gettysburg Pennsylvania USA Horizontal Dial 699
An elaborate gold-colored horizontal dial located on the front lawn of the Eisenhower National Historical Site. The dial was a gift of the National Watch and Clock Collectors. Dial face includes hour lines with Roman hour numerals and a poetic verse describing time.
 
 
Gettysburg Pennsylvania USA Horizontal Dial 700
A hexagonal bronze horizontal dial located on the rear lawn of the Eisenhower National Historical Site. The dial was a gift of the Radio and Television Correspondents Association. Dial face includes hour lines with Roman hour numerals and the inscription Tempus Fugit. The dial and a small plaque are mounted on a 120 mm artillery shell.
 
 
Greenville Pennsylvania USA Horizontal Dial 912
This bronze dial is about 14 inches in diameter with a coarse near-white patina. Time is delineated in 5 minute intervals from 4:30am to 5:30pm. The hours are marked in Roman numerals and includes a gnomon gap for a fairly thick gnomon. The dial sits on on square stone pillar and thick plinth. Measurement of the gnomon angle agrees with with latitude engraved on the dial plate of 40° 25' that is more than a degree off the latitude of the the dial site.
 
 
Hollidaysburg Pennsylvania USA Horizontal Dial 437
This is a large horizontal dial 10 feet in diameter, constructed of marble with a steel gnomon. The sundial was donated in honor of Courtney Leigh Clayton and is open to the public as part of the beautiful Discovery Garden.
 
 
Kennett Square Pennsylvania USA Analemmatic Dial 328
37.2 ft x 23.8 ft. This is probably the world's largest analemmatic, unusually designed to show standard time directly. It took 8 years of daily readings to perfect the sundial, which is accurate to within 2 minutes. Hour markers are bronze Roman numerals. Minute lines inscribed in limestone curbing. The gnomon itself is a moveable pole that is set on an AM or PM daily curve. NASS member P. Kenneth Seidelman was instrumental in correcting this design in 1978.
 
 
Kennett Square Pennsylvania USA Horizontal Dial 329
Dating from 1976, this "secret" garden room (once a sundial garden with boxwood parterre) was designed by Thomas Church and is on the western side of the 1908 Square Fountain pool. The ground level horizontal dial is limestone with an iron gnomon. Hour lines identified by Roman numerals; hours divided into minutes. Hour line distribution adjusted for style width. EoT engraved on PM side of dial face. Dial sits atop a large mortared stone base.
 
 
Lampeter Pennsylvania USA Vertical Dial 545
A 32x64-inch cast stone vertical declining dial located 25 feet up a vertical column at the school's entrance. An EOT plaque is located below the dial.
 
 
Lancaster Pennsylvania USA Heliochronometer Dial 875
This 7.5 inch diameter heliochronometer was milled out of aluminum and set to the site latitude with a mounting plate. One heliochronometer arm has a sun illumination counter sunk hole 0.125 inch in diameter and on the other arm an engraved analemma for proper pointing offset to display civil time. Time marks are milled at 5 minute intervals, and a vernier is added (5 lines 4 minutes apart) so that time can be read to the nearest minute.
 
 
Lewisburg Pennsylvania USA Equatorial Dial 445
A large, ornate equatorial dial of brass sits outside the physics department building. The dial is approximately 8 feet across. Two pillars with brass balls support the dial plate. Two more pillars with ball support the gnomon wire. To add a flourish, the north most pillar and ball have a spread eagle holding the gnomon wire in its mouth. Unfortunately this beautiful dial is tarnished by age, with the analemmas for each hour barely visible on the dial plate. The gnomon wire, broken sometime in the past, is jury-rigged and tied together in the middle, resulting in a unkempt look to such a fine dial. A dark, round stone base, perhaps made of slate, approximately 8 foot in diameter supports the dial and pillars. The stone sits upon a 10 x 10 foot concrete pad.
 
 
Meadville Pennsylvania USA Horizontal Dial 905
The sun dial was given to the college in 1909 by the Class of '99 as a memorial on their tenth anniversary. It consists of an elegant bronze dial showing time from 6am-6pm delineated in 15 minute increments. Hours are shown in Roman numerals. The gnomon has the number "99" beneath the style. The dial is mounted on a granite pedestal forty inches in height.
 
 
Meadville Pennsylvania USA Horizontal Dial 906
This patina dial shows lots of wear. Although it sits on an elegant helical pedestal. The dial has a compass rose and from measurements of both the dial and gnomon, it was constructed for London at 51 degrees. This is further supported by the hour extent from 4am to 8pm. The hours are delineated in irregular 5 minute marks with hours shown as Roman numerals. The 6am to 6pm hour lines should be exactly opposite, but are angled toward the gnomon foot. Unfortunately this dial never kept good time in London and certainly can not tell accurate time in Pennsylvania.
 
 
Philadelphia Pennsylvania USA Horizontal Dial 146
A 10 inch diameter horizontal dial on a 40 inch tall square marble pedestal with dedication plaque. Gnomon is missing.
 
 
Philadelphia Pennsylvania USA Vertical Dial 147
A vertical dial within a bronze sunflower held overhead in the outstretched arms of the bronze sculpture of two children.
 
 
Philadelphia Pennsylvania USA Horizontal Dial 148
Horizontal dial approximately one foot diameter mounted on old stone atop a 3 foot stone pedestal. It is sitting against north wall of the garden and not aligned in proper direction. Plaque at the base states "This sundial stood for over a century in the gardens of Dorchester House, Park Lane, London, England. Presented by The Soroptomist Club of Philadelphia, December 23, 1935". This may be true for the dial plate because the hour angles indicate a latitude of 51°, the London latitude. It may not be true for the gnomon, whose style angle is 40°, the Philadelphia latitude. Access by taking guided tour, $5; then ask for garden.