Sundials - World's Oldest Clocks

North American Sundial Society

Sundials of North America

This is a complete listing of sundials in the North American Sundial Society Registry. Click on any dial thumbnail picture or city name to display the full dial listing and images. To see sundials from a particular state or province, you may click on the list at right to see all registered sundials in that state, province or country (at bottom) displayed in city order.

You may also type into the NASS search field at upper right any search word such as "equatorial" to get a list of all articles mentioning equatorial dials and a list of all equatorial sundials in the registry. (Try other dial types: "vertical", "horizontal", etc).

 
 
Baltimore Maryland USA Analemmatic Dial Dial 1015
This red brick analemmatic is an ellipse 18x12 feet. It has concrete stone inlays for the zodiac walkway and hour stones from 5am to 7pm in black lettering. At the edges are markers for the cardinal points and along the east-west line are the seasonal points (Bailey Points) for determining the direction of the rise and set of the sun.
 
 
Beaufort South Carolina USA Horizontal Dial Dial 1014
Cast bronze, 18 inch diameter circular face, mounted on a cement pedestal 40 inches tall. The gnomon is 5.5 inches tall with a 5-point star cut through it. Arabic numerals mark the hours from 6am to 6pm. US Marine Corps emblem (Eagle, Globe, and Anchor) at the left and right positions on the outer circle of the face. This dial was previously located on the Naval Hospital, Parris Island, which was decommissioned on August 31, 1949. The last Commanding Officer of NH Parris Island, Captain Leslie Marshall, became the first Commanding Officer of NH Beaufort and brought the sundial with him to the new site.
 
 
Buffalo Valley Tennessee USA Horizontal Dial Dial 1013
This monumental size sundial is called "Marking Time: and spreads over an area 100 x 50 feet (30 x 15 m). The gnomon is a 12 foot (3.6 m) tall welded stainless steel structure. The last several feet of the gnomon is a thin metal bar ending in a sharp point. Multiple time markers are arranged in hour lines from 6am to 6pm. These marks have the names of all 95 Tennessee counties and the noon line has only one county, Davidson, in tribute to the state capital in Nashville, Davidson Co. The large concrete base of the gnomon has fossil type imprints on the surface.
 
 
Great Falls Virginia USA Analemmatic Dial Dial 1012
This 12-foot E-W analemmatic sundial was the Eagle Scout project of Kenny Dieffenderfer who marshaled volunteers from Troop 1547 and parents. The dial has hour marks of bright yellow radiant suns from 5am to 7pm local time. The zodiac walkway is 30 inches wide, painted with a white background and line marks for each month and appropriate colorful drawings. The equinox is clearly marked and surrounding the dial are the cardinal markers of N, S, E, W.
 
 
Waipahu Hawaii USA Horizontal Dial Dial 1011
This is a large horizontal dial with a blue metal gnomon. At 21 deg latitude, the gnomon's low angle is distinguishing. Along the perimeter of half circle are Arabic numbers marking the hours from 6am to 6pm set between two concrete chapter rings. Just beyond the dial to the north is a an concrete bench that arcs across the 10am-2pm shadow line. The dial and bench are situated at one end of a long green corridor between the school buildings.
 
 
Denver Colorado USA Gnomonic or Projection Dial Dial 1010
This gnomonic sundial uses an oculus high above ground level to project sunlight through a large overhead disc made of yellow plexiglass with a hole in the center to provide a brighter spot of sunlight surrounded by a yellow ellipse to show date and time. The light projects onto a large gnomonic calendar in colored concrete designating the months and hour lines from 10am-2pm standard time. Summer hours are designated from 11am-3pm.
 
 
Athens Ohio USA Horizontal Dial Dial 1009
For a dial 114 years old, it is in excellent condition. The bronze dial is of simple form with hour marks every quarter of the hour and a chapter ring with Roman hours from 5:30am to 6:30pm. Surrounding the chapter ring it reads "Ohio University". Father time stands with a scythe at the foot of the gnomon that contains the profile of a bird. On the dial plate Shakespeare's Sonnet 16 is lightly engraved. The sundial was erected in 1907, though there is a photo of "a quartet of gentlemen" attributed in 1890, yet the cylindrical pedestal with plaque is easily recognizable.
 
 
Westville Indiana USA Horizontal Dial Dial 1008
This marine brass sundial at first glance is just a beautiful horizontal sundial with Roman hour marks delineated at 1 minute intervals from 5am to 7pm . But look carefully and at the base of the gnomon on the north side is a vertical stile whose shadow graces a stereographic projection of a grid of 5-minute solar time lines vs solar declination at degree intervals spanning +/- 23.5 deg where the summer and winter solstice paths are highlighted by a bead of small solar dots.
 
 
Ventura California USA Horizontal Dial Dial 1007
The central part of the bronze sundial, approximately 12 inches in diameter, has the traditional hour marks and divisions into 15 minute intervals and surrounded by Roman numerals from 5am to 7pm. South of the gnomon is a simple compass rose with four cardinal points. With the dial at ground level the gnomon has led a hard life and is now held to the dial plate with improvised brackets. Surrounding the dial, doubling the size to 24 inches in diameter is an elegantly engraved ring of the twelve figures of the zodiac, each named on the outer ring with the corresponding month on the inner ring.
 
 
Indianapolis Indiana USA Horizontal Dial Dial 1006
Nestled among the trees in a small triangular park is a monumental horizontal sundial with oversized hour marks. The apparent method of reading the Roman hours that are all south of the 6am - 6pm line, is to look at the shadow then gaze across the sundial to read (upside down) the hour. The hours are 6, 9 ,12, 3, and 6. On the north side of the 6am-6pm line are 3 plaques where the normal 9, 12, and 3 hours should be. One is a plaque for Robert McCord who planted and maintained the park during the 60's until his death. Another plaque records that the McCord Park sundial is dedicated to a local police officer, William Whitfield, who was the first African American police officer killed in the line of duty in Indianapolis. His name is engraved on the central part of the large triangular sundial gnomon. Surrounding the base of the sundial are ceramic tiles from Barbara Zech, a local clay artist who fired the tiles created by students from the nearby school. The tiles have the theme of "home" and "community". The park renovations were headed by the group Keep Indianapolis Beautiful.
 
 
Marshfield Massachusetts USA Analemmatic Dial Dial 1005
This beautiful and educational analemmatic sundial is painted on the blue background of a 14x10 foot concrete pad. The ellipse itself has a semi-major axis of 76 inches and a semi-minor axis of 48 inches, particular suited for children. The zodiac walkway is nicely painted in white with clean stenciling of the months. The solstices and equinoxes are marked in large letters and the cardinal points are flagged in red. [Note: a number of vendors will make paper or plastic stencils that with a stiff brush create impressive lettering.] The hour marks are bright yellow suns enumerated in standard time and offset for longitude. The paint is covered with a clear sealer (Duromar DF-5610 “Solventless, Zero VOC, UV Stable Clear Polyaspartic Topcoat”) plus a bit of "shark grit" (Duromar DuroTrac "Invisible Traction Grit") to roughen the surface a bit to give some traction. This is similar to the approach taken by John Carmichael for the dial he designed at the University of Arizona, NASS Registry #825.
 
 
Longport New Jersey USA Sun Alignment Dial 1004
This concrete and bronze dial is really an alignment sculpture, honoring events from Armistice Day (Nov 11, 1918) to Pearl Harbor (Dec 7, 1941). A five-vaned support casts a shadow onto brass medallions on the time and date of the event such as the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month for Armistice (Veterans) Day. Surrounding the dial are five bronze plaques representing the different branches of the U.S. armed forces.
 
 
Norwell Massachusetts USA Vertical Dial Dial 1003
This vertical declining dial is made of painted plywood with a simple white background and black hour lines and Arabic numerals. The gnomon is a brass rod without nodus. The hour lines have been adjusted for the difference between the site's longitude and the 75° W standard-time meridian. The hours are numbered as Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) instead of Standard Time, because in winter the sun is mostly low in the sky and trees in this wooded area block sunlight from reaching the sundial. Of course to obtain correct EDT, the equation of time needs to be added to the dial's time to account for the variable meridian passage of the sun. At most this amounts to -14 minutes (mid-February) or +16 minutes (early November).
 
 
Black Rock City Nevada USA Equatorial Dial Dial 1002
"About Time" was a 30 foot long, 3000 pound wooden pyramid. This installation projected time using two sundials: a gnomonic vertical sundial that swept its shadow of time out across the desert floor and an equatorial dial located on one faces of the pyramid. A platform at the peak of the pyramid allowed observers to become the gnomonic sundial’s apex and to experience 360 deg views of the landscape. At the end of the installation the piece was burned, a testament to the unidirectional march of entropy and time, underscoring the fleeting nature of the present moment.
 
 
Mexico City México Mexico Vertical Dial Dial 1001
This is a south facing reclining vertical sundial made of stone about one and a half meter square. The dial's concrete mount adjusts the dial to true south even though the carillon tower is not N-S aligned. Hour lines and Roman numbers on the dial go from 7am to 5pm. Monthly declination lines show the date as well as the solstices and equinox. A simple rod gnomon exits a gold ball at the top of the dial. The dial itself is well above eye level and hard to read. The other end of the carillon tower has an Aztec calendar.
 
 
Milwaukee Wisconsin USA Analemmatic Dial Dial 1000
During the design of the bridge across the lagoon, the walkway was extended in the center on the north side, creating a niche for a 12 x 6 foot analemmatic dial. The dial is painted bright yellow with hours marked from 5am to 9pm (daylight saving time). The 1pm hour mark is set 8 1/2 minutes past local noon corresponding to its location just east of the Central Time Zone meridian. The walkway is marked with a central line using tic marks for each month and solstices. As of 2019, the paint is well worn. The dial has red circular Bailey marks for observing the direction of sunrise and sunset. Latitude and longitude are painted on the dial as well. At the north side of the dial on bridge railing is a sign explaining how to stand on the dial and use the equation of time chart to get civil time
 
 
Anchorage Alaska USA Sculpture/Artwork Dial 999
A sun sculpture called "Solar Path". The large 24 x 35 x 12 feet sculpture made by renowned artist Bill FitzGibbons consists of a blue vertical pole and two low sloping wedges. The vertical column makes a linear shadow that is supposed to show approximate solar time as it passes over evenly spaced inlaid hourly numbers from 8am to 8pm. This is not a functional sundial! The short wedge points to where the sunrises on the summer solstice and the longer wedge form points to where the sunrises on the winter solstice.
 
 
Fairbanks Alaska USA Equatorial Dial Dial 998
This equatorial sundial uses the shaft hole of an old airplane propeller as a nodus to cast a sun beam spot on the equatorial band. The arms are made from pieces cut from an unused pipe section intended for an oil pipeline. The dial appears to have time zone compensation. The hour marks are labelled for both Standard and Daylight Saving Time (with no minor marks). The propeller hole shines light onto the words "summer", "equinox", and "winter".
 
 
Port Hueneme California USA Horizontal Dial Dial 997
A large, 20 ft. diameter horizontal bronze dial constructed in memory of Alaska Airlines Flight 261, which crashed 14 miles offshore nearby on January 31, 2000, with the loss of all aboard. 88 bronze plaques surround the dial on its beveled edge honoring passengers and crew who died. The dial face is simple without hour lines but Roman numerals from 8am to 4pm to mark the hours. The thin, gleaming gnomon is decorated with dolphins at the base symbolizing the sea into which the plane fell. The sundial is set in a circular plaza 36 feet in diameter.
 
 
South Hadley Massachusetts USA Vertical Dial Dial 996
This vertical sundial declines slightly to the southwest in alignment with the building wall. The 1x1 meter dial is of concrete and built in the middle of the south wall. Because of its size and height at least 25 feet above ground, it was made to be seen at a distance. In 1916 when it was built, the land to the south was clear and many early photographs show the dial prominently on the south face One hundred years later many trees block the sunlight to this fine sundial. The dial is delineated in half-hour lines spanning from the 7:30am line in morning to the 6pm hour line in the evening. The hour lines are marked with Roman numerals. There are no solstice or equinox lines.
 

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