Sundials - World's Oldest Clocks

North American Sundial Society

News Item from the Wet Mountain Tribune on June 30th, 2016: Custer County courthouse is getting a new sundial.  Using a true north line surveyed by county commissioner Kit Shy, Charlie French is cementing a rod anchored in obsidian rock, whose shadow will align with that of the courhouse flagpole. "Taking advantage of the summer solstice on June 20, he literally nailed down the farthest reach of the flagpole shadow."

While French happily proclaims, “thanks to Harrison [whose clock allowed longitude determination in 1761], and knowing where the time zone meridian is, and how distant we are from it, we are accurate to one minute and 51 seconds of Mountain Time here in the visible solar time at the courthouse.”  Well, that's almost correct.  French's gnomon rod and courthouse flagpole shadows align at local solar time.  Mountain Time like other clock times do not match solar time due to the tilt of the earth's axis and eccentric orbit around the sun, shifting solar and clock time by +/- 15 minutes throughout the year.  Read more at:  http://www.wetmountaintribune.com/home.asp?i=945&p=6

Some things pass the test of time.  The Wet Mountain Tribune has been published every Thursday since 1883.  "Our duty is to keep the universe thoroughly posted concerning murders and street fights, and balls, and theaters, and pack-trains, and churches and lectures and schoolhouse, and military affairs, and highway robberies, and Bible Societies, and haywagons, and a thousand other things which it is in the province of local reporters to keep track of and magnify into undue importance for the instruction of the readers of this great newspaper."

Mark Twain
The Virginia City Territorial Enterprise, Virginia City, Nevada Territory