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).

 
 
Halifax Nova Scotia Canada Horizontal Dial Dial 93
Bronze horizontal dial on a granite base. Has Roman numerals showing time noting "Mean solar time in Halifax is 1 hour and 14 minutes behind Atlantic Standard Time."
 
 
Milton Massachusetts USA Vertical Dial Dial 92
A vertical south facing dial made of painted mahogany with an aluminum gnomon. The dial is in the shape of a shield 3 foot tall by 2 1/2 foot wide, following the seal of the Milton Academy. Around the edge are the hours in Roman numeral. An Equation of Time correction table is now missing, but does not detract from the beauty of the dial. The dial is kept in excellent condition in red, blue and gold motif.
 
 
Baltimore Maryland USA Polyhedral Dial 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.
 
 
Frankfort Kentucky USA Horizontal Dial Dial 90
The Kentucky Vietnam Veterans Memorial features a 7090 square foot plaza with a monumental 86x68 foot horizontal dial of granite slabs with a 14.6 foot high gnomon of welded stainless steel plates.
 
 
Orlando Florida USA Pillar Dial Dial 89
Reconstruction of a 4-sided pillar dial.
 
 
Detroit Michigan USA Armillary Sphere Dial 88
A 6 foot diameter wrought iron armillary with equatorial and polar rings. Hour numerals are missing. Cast zodiacal signs are present in fair condition on exterior of equatorial ring. Dial is on a decaying brick circular pedestal at the center of a concrete and brick base. Rings are heavily marked with graffiti. The dial sits atop a brick and mortar pedestal in poor condition.
 
 
Quebec Quebec Canada Vertical Dial Dial 87
Vertical dial on a board, about 1.5m high by 1 m wide. White with red lettering. It is placed above a doorway on an interior courtyard of the old Seminary, founded in 1663 by Mgr de Laval. The building now houses the architecture school of the Laval University. Although the school and Seminary buildings are private, access is available to the courtyard.
 
 
Stratford Connecticut USA Vertical Dial Dial 86
Large vertical dial at the Shakespeare Festival Theatre entrance. The dial is formed around a large circular sunburst with Roman numerals at the edge. Gnomon is missing. Dial declines east and is non-functional for this position and location. Above the dial is a shield.
 
 
Storrs Connecticut USA Pillar Dial Dial 85
Waugh memorial dial. Not oriented on cardinal points. It was rotated to avoid tree and adjacent building shadows. Gift of Mr. & Mrs. Kenneth Lynch Sr., the Alumni Association, and funds raised for the purpose. The stone pillar is 12 ft. high. Constructed by the firm of Kenneth Lynch & Sons.
 
 
Pomfret Connecticut USA Pillar Dial Dial 84
A 22 ft. high stone pillar dial built by William Ross Carpenter as a replica of the famous Charles Turnbull dial of Corpus Christi College in England dating from 1577. The pillar dial, called the Pelican dial, has multiple dials of various types. The Carpenter replica built in 1912 was restored in 1987. Ornate dial furniture with multiple inscriptions. A complex masterpiece. See the NASS Compendium Vol. 2 No. 1 for more details.
 
 
Newington Connecticut USA Horizontal Dial Dial 83
Bronze horizontal ring, suspended by curved semi-circles, with gnomon rising from the center toward the North. "...you can see resemblances to an anchor, a gimbal, and a mariner's compass" says designer Searle Lansing-Jones.
 
 
San Francisco California USA Horizontal Dial Dial 82
Built in 1913 as a promotion for a housing development that was once a racetrack, this dial boasted (incorrectly) that at 34 feet in diameter and a gnomon style 28 feet in length, it was the largest dial in the United States. Nevertheless it gathered much publicity and newspaper articles thanks to the Urban Realty Improvement Co. The company put out a brochure "The Sundial at Ingleside Terrace with Comments on Homes" using the sundial as a lure to attract home buyers to the newly constructed residential neighborhood. On Oct 10, the same day the Panama Canal was opened, a festive gala was held at the sundial dedication attended by more than 1500 people. Photos show young girls dancing around a small pool that surrounded the gnomon. A light (visible in several early photos) dangled from the tip of the gnomon. Bronze statues of seals were originally in the pool, but by 1920 the pool was filled with concrete and the seals were gone. Today the pool area is painted green.
 
 
Aurora Colorado USA Equatorial Dial Dial 81
A large Erickson Monument equatorial polar dial 6 feet in diameter made of light granite with a 3 inch steel rod as gnomon. The dial was dedicated as part of the bicentennial celebrations in July 1976. Hour lines from 4am to 8pm. Time is graduated by half-hour, quarter hours and 5 minute marks. Designed to be read from the upper surface in Spring/Summer, from the under side in Fall/Winter. A plaque provides the Equation of Time to convert solar time to watch time. Dial has both the bicentennial emblem and the city seal of the city of Aurora.
 
 
San Diego California USA Vertical Dial Dial 80
This dial was originally owned and installed at Sea World in San Diego but was sold and purchased by Verlyn Kuhlmann. A 39 inch diameter reclining vertical dial of cast concrete with a 20 inch long steel gnomon. Dial reclines about 50°. Includes cast hour lines with Arabic numerals and longitude correction. A separate plaque provides instructions and an EOT graph. The dial is mounted on a 24 inch square aluminum base plate and short column support.
 
 
Huntington Beach California USA Vertical Dial Dial 78
A 7x8 foot direct south facing vertical dial of wood with metal gnomon on the masonry stucco side of a fire station building. Hour lines are painted on wood planks bolted to the side of the building. Metal Arabic DST hour numerals are mounted to the wood planks. Longitude correction is not included and there is no EOT correction or instructions offered but dial is accurate when both corrections are applied.
 
 
Los Angeles California USA Equatorial Dial Dial 77
A bronze equatorial ring dial with taut wire gnomon on concrete pedestal. Ring is inscribed with hour, ten-minute and minute lines. Plaque states the dial indicates correct watch time so observatory staff periodically rotates clamped ring to correct for EOT, longitude and DST. Dial is located adjacent to the Astronomers Monument atop which is a large bronze armillary. The monument recognizes Hipparchus, Copernicus, Galileo, Kepler, Newton and Hershel. The sundial was originally built into the base of the Astronomers Monument but was relocated a few feet to the south during the 2002-2006 remodeling to allow visitors to more closely approach the dial. The dial sits atop a concrete pedestal.
 
 
Death Valley California USA Vertical Dial Dial 76
Prospector and con man Walter Scott convinced Chicago millionaire Albert Johnson to invest in his gold mine in the Death Valley area. The mine was a fraud, but Johnson began building his Spanish Revival Villa in 1922 that continued until the stock market crash of 1929. Martin de Dubovay was the architect, Mat Roy Thompson was the engineer and head of construction, and Charles Alexander MacNeilledge was the designer
 
 
Tempe Arizona USA Equatorial Dial Dial 75
An equatorial dial designed by R. Newton Mayall with a "curved triangular gnomon over a curved face approximately 1ft. wide. Tells the day of the year and standard time noon." Has a plaque explaining the Equation of Time.
 
 
Seattle Washington USA Analemmatic Dial Dial 74
27 foot circle containing a fanciful analemmatic dial made of bronze and concrete with countless embedded items. Seattle Sundial Trails notes "It requires more than a casual look to recognize the paving that tops Kite Hill as a sundial. At first glance, it seems as if the high tide washed over a bed of fresh concrete, leaving lots of marine creatures and wave prints behind.....The structure is colored concrete, with many interesting inlaid objects scattered throughout, including a bronze bear claw, a ceramic crab, pieces of pottery and glass and shells, etc. Many features are in bronze (such as some hour numerals and the [zodiac walkway] on which one stands.... Bronze casts of three pairs of footprints are those of Greening, the (anonymous) donor of the piece, and the donor’s dog! There are, however, so many inlaid objects and the hour numerals are so stylized that the dial pattern is somewhat obscured." At the center of the dial is a large yin-yang symbol, made from light and dark concrete. Within this is the zodiac walkway to stand for casting the hour's shadow. However normal dates have given way to elongated bronze band loops around a wavy center line using zodiac signs to indicate the months. For example: Equinoxes are indicated by Aries and Libra while the summer solstice is the Tropic of Cancer and winter solstice is Tropic of Capricorn.
 
 
Johnson Vermont USA Horizontal Dial Dial 71
One of Kate Pond's first dials, a winning design for an 18 foot diameter dial that now resides on the University of North Vermont - Johnson green. Concrete, Stainless Steel. On the ground concrete paths mark the N-S and E-W axes. The gnomon is a 3 inch stainless steel pipe 9 feet long attached to a concrete base. The hours are marked with 1 foot diameter Vermont granite stones, and at the cardinal points are larger stone markers. Kenneth Leslie, Assistant Professor of Art, remarked, " I have the idea of a student sitting against the North marker, reading a newspaper for a noon class, and knowing it's time to leave when the shadow crosses his paper."
 

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