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).

 
 
Dodge City Kansas USA Horizontal Dial Dial 39
Two horizontal dials side by side, one for Central Standard Time and one for Mountain Standard Time. The CST dial shows hour lines for 7 AM to 7 PM, the MST dial shows 6 AM through 6 PM. Corrected for longitude. Each dial is approximately 13 meters in diameter. In front of the dials is a large concrete plaque with the equation of time and analemma. The analemma is represented as summer on top and late months (Feb, Jul) on right. This is not the way it would be viewed in the traditional series of photos nor is it the way a shadow would be traced. The width is exaggerated, presumably to allow a better reading of the minutes of time. The paint is peeling badly.
 
 
Bloomington Indiana USA Horizontal Dial Dial 38
A small horizontal dial, about 18 inches in diameter. The dial plate is tilted 2 deg to the horizon to allow water run-off. However, more unusual is the base that contains a hand crank connected to a scalloped drum that tilts the entire dial to adjust for the Equation of Time. The drum is rotated to the current date and the drum edge pushes a cam that tilts the plane of the horizontal face so that standard time is indicated to within half a minute. The dial is actually mounted on an equatorial axis. Since 1979 the dial has gone into a state of disrepair and is overgrown by bushes.
 
 
Orlando Florida USA Horizontal Dial Dial 37
This plain dial formed on a concrete base has an elegant gnomon, designed with an interior curve and oval. But alas, don't go to Florida to find it. Sometime in 2013 as Harcourt closed its Florida office, the new tenet had no use for the sundial and had it scheduled for demolition.
 
 
Lake Wales Florida USA Vertical Dial Dial 36
Beautiful vertical dial, approx 12x6 foot of Georgia marble with a brass gnomon approx 5 foot long. Declination lines present. Hour & half hour lines with hours in Roman numerals. Sunburst pattern above gnomon. From the Guidebook, published by the Garden: 'The famous sundial carved on the south wall of the Tower indicates the latitude and longitude of Iron Mountain. It is known as an erect declining dial as it stands vertically at an exact right angle with the surface of the earth... and does not face directly south but is tilted towards the east with a declination of 4 degrees, 20 minutes.' It has an Equation of time chart and shows the days of the months as well. Directions are to 'Add minutes shown for each day to obtain Eastern Standard Time.'
 
 
Swarthmore Pennsylvania USA Vertical Dial Dial 35
Modern design for a vertical dial declining 20.5 deg east on a stone block wall. The gnomon is a right-angled sheet of bronze, casting shadows onto granite hour marks from 6am to 4pm. The dial was designed by Marti Cowan using Waugh's formulae for vertical dials. Frederick Orthlieb, professor and chair of the Dept of Engineering at Swarthmore "had a part in locating the bent-plate gnomon so as to give correct indications on the vertical wall. As installed, the gnomon's indicating edge (which lies on a Polar Axis) casts quite a short shadow in Autumn and Winter and requires some observing skill to make a close estimate of indicated time, but in Spring and Summer the longer shadow moves over the granite hour marks very plainly." A double-line mark at 11am indicates noon during Daylight Saving Time. The second mark is slightly askew if one looks carefully.
 
 
Washington District of Columbia USA Horizontal Dial 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.
 
 
Watertown Connecticut USA Vertical Dial Dial 32
Norman Bliss, who reported this dial, taught astronomy at Taft School for many years. He challenged students to find this abstract dial. The dial no longer exists and was destroyed when the building was demolished.
 
 
New Haven Connecticut USA Vertical Dial Dial 30
Vertical dial on Sterling Library. Rectangular stone with hour lines and Arabic numbers. Gnomon is a plain rod emanating from a sunburst. Stonework shows it to be built into the wall of the library.
 
 
Mystic Connecticut USA Armillary Sphere Dial 29
This armillary dial with a sailing ship weather vane is on the cover photo of Albert Waugh's book "Sundials - Their Theory and Construction" (paperback edition). The dial sits atop a short stone platform outside of the Treworgy Planetarium, on the grounds of the Mystic Seaport Museum in Mystic, CT. To correct solar time to clock time, the dial has an Equation of Time table at the base. The armillary sphere underwent a restoration in the summer of 2015, removing corrosion, repainting the dial structure and equatorial band, and re-stencilling the longitude degree markings.
 
 
Hartford Connecticut USA Equatorial Dial Dial 28
A bronze equatorial dial presented to the college as a gift from the class of 1889. For its age, it is in remarkably good condition. The 3 foot wide by 2 foot tall half cylinder is engraved with both hour and declination lines. At the noon-equinox point of the dial face a perpendicular pole rises to the centerline of the cylinder and supports a N-S gnomon rod. Unfortunately the southern portion of the rod is missing. The base is a square, tapered pillar.
 
 
Hartford Connecticut USA Polyhedral Dial Dial 27
This is an 18th century polyhedral dial (dodecahedron). The dial was originally located at The Abbey, Storrington, Sussex, England. Carved stone with ten dials on a dodecahedral, some sunken, some planar. Pillar is about 12 ft. high.
 
 
Cincinnati Ohio USA Armillary Sphere Dial 26
This is an unusual armillary sphere without the standard gnomon rod, allowing the dial to be adjusted easily to tell civil time. As generally expected of an armillary or equatorial sundial, there is an equatorial time ring (16 inches in diameter) with engraved hourly time marks fastened to a meridian ring. But for this dial the equatorial and meridian ring assembly rotates on a polar axis. The dial functions as a Pilkington & Gibbs Heliochronometer: A small hole with lens where the equatorial and meridian rings meet allows a focused spot of sunlight to fall upon the opposite side of the rings where there is a plaque engraved with an analemma and associated monthly and day marks along the curve. This assembly is an analemmic alidade, allowing the user to align the spot of sun to an offset along the analemma curve of date that adjusting the sundial for the equation of time and longitude off time zone meridian. Civil time is read on the equatorial ring from a marker located on a fixed meridian. Knowing the month and approximate day, the dial can be read to the nearest minute.
 
 
Bloomfield Connecticut USA Vertical Dial Dial 25
Vertical dial on an eight ton granite cube, 4 foot on a side. Three vertical dials on east, south and west sides. Gnomons are missing Designed by R. Newton Mayall. A similar CIGNA cube dial is in Los Angeles, Union Square. Both dials owned by CIGNA Insurance Co.
 
 
Denver Colorado USA Equatorial Dial Dial 24
Large Erickson equatorial monument dial. It consists of a disc of pink granite about 6 feet in diameter and 6 inches thick, tilted on edge to align with the earth's equator. The gnomon is a stainless steel rod approximately 3 inches in diameter, piercing the disc at 90 degrees. It supports the disc from below, and protrudes about 2-3 feet above the disc; far enough that it casts a shadow on the face of the disc all summer. Winter shadows fall on the back side of the dial, also engraved with hour lines.
 
 
Tempe Arizona USA Horizontal Dial Dial 23
A horizontal dial from Picture Rock Sandstone with 24k gold-plated inlaid brass fittings, 25 inches wide by 36 inches long, with gnomon 12.5 inches high. Gnomon is 1.5 inches thick. Total sundial weight 110 lbs. Time is marked in 10 minute intervals. Has Equation of Time and moonlight reading time correction table. Has the time and direction of sunrises and sunsets, the solstices, equinoxes, solar azimuth, and high noon.
 
 
Arvada Colorado USA Horizontal Dial Dial 22
A large horizontal dial of brick and stone with a formed structural steel gnomon in the form of a modern sculpture. Roman numeral hour marks doe DST are on raised brick pillars.
 
 
Colma California USA Horizontal Dial Dial 21
This large ground-level horizontal dial is 40 ft. diameter. Formerly a floral dial with a cypress tree as gnomon and hour lines crafted out of plants such as santilina shrubs. During the 1960's the dial was changed to concrete and aluminum. Now approaching 2020, the concrete dial has a brick surround. Time is marked by large Roman numerals and hour lines in an interior chapter ring. The gnomon is a supported beam with a graceful shaped tip. It may be aluminum, but shows signs of weathering.
 
 
San Francisco California USA Vertical Dial Dial 20
Known as the "Navigators' Dial", this sundial is dedicated to three early explorers of the California coast. The dial itself is a sliced bronze globe of the earth sitting on the back of a tortoise. Overall, the globe hemisphere is about 2 1/2 feet in diameter, showing the world in relief centered on California. The flat face of the hemisphere is a beautiful vertical reclining dial. The dial sits atop a stone column.
 
 
San Diego California USA Vertical Dial Dial 19
Above the southwest entrance of the Chemistry-Geology Building is a vertical declining dial built by Richard L. Threet in 1979. The dial uses thin aluminum tubing as a gnomon to cast shadows on a ring of hour and half hour lines approximately 9 feet in diameter. The lines were originally painted black on the white concrete wall with only the 9 am, 12 noon, 3 pm and 6 pm lines boldly numbered. Since then the dial has lost all but the 12.
 
 
Riverside California USA Equatorial Dial Dial 18
An equatorial dial 47 inches in diameter made of stainless steel. It sits upon four sleek pillars setting on a concrete rise. The gnomon rod has a round disk with a hole to act as a nodus. The dial equatorial band has solstice and equinox lines, as well as a line showing the declination of the sun marked with by months and zodiac signs. Hour lines are marked by raised stainless steel Roman Numerals. Dial is corrected to Pacific Standard Time.
 

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