Sundials - World's Oldest Clocks

North American Sundial Society

Westville  

Sundial: 1008
State/Province:  Indiana Country:  USA
Dial Type:  Horizontal Dial Condition:  Excellent
  Latitude and Longitude: 41° 30.082' N  87° 53.628' W
Location:
  • Purdue University Northwest campus in Westville. Dial is just southwest of the campus library
 
Description:
  • 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.

    The azimuth of the sun is indicated by the direction of the stile's shadow, while the sun's altitude is given by the radial distance from the zenith point to where the stile's shadow crosses the sun's declination line for the date. A linear scale is engraved on the dial to interpret this distance in degrees. Surrounding the gnomon and nestled against the stereographic projection is an arced ribbon giving the equation of time. An equation of time plaque is attached to pedestal as well and is easier to read for the students quickly passing by.

    At the dial edge are 3 cardinal points (N,E,W). At the south point is an engraved circular portrait medallion of a young lady, presumably Carol Brevoort Hilton-Turvey whose motto graces the dial. At the very edge of the dial you can spot "ZHΘI" for the Greek imperative "Live!", motto of the Sawyer Dialing Prize. Engraved on the dial is the acknowledgement "Funded with assistance from the 2009 Sawyer dialing Prize of the North American Sundial Society."

    The 9-sided (yes, a nonagon) sundial sits on a square sandstone pedestal with square capital. The latitude/longitude marked on the dial was done for Valparaiso, IN about 10 mi southwest of Purdue University Northwest campus in Westville, IN
 
General Information:Inscription:
  • Owner: Purdue University
  • On the dial plate: "I mark my hours by shadow; Mayest thou mark thine By sunshine" from Carol Brevoort Hilton-Turvey as chosen by the University. On the West side of the gnomon is "NULLA DIES SINE LINEA" (No Day Without a Line), (attributed to Pliny). Below the motto is "JD" with logo of sun and moon. On the East side of the gnomon is "Our science is from the watching of shadows” (taken from Ezra Pound) and below it, the NASS logo. On the dial plate is "John Davis fecit [maker], Flowton, England MMX".
  • Designer: John Davis
  • Builder: John Davis
  • Construction Date: Installed October 2010
 

Last Revised: 2021-01-28 22:37

Site Search

Current Sun

Sundial = Civil + EoT

We use session cookies on this site. Please review our policies or click OK to approve and continue.