Sundials - World's Oldest Clocks

North American Sundial Society

Dials of Interest

Sundials of significant interest either because of artisan, design, history, or placement.  An unusal set of dials that should stir anyone's interest

nass_news_2011_may_peninsuladial
[all photos courtesy of Dennis Sanford,
3Peninsula College

Located in Port Angeles, Washington, Peninsula College recently dedicated a sundial measuring eight feet in height.  The dial is notable for its unusual design:  the basic construction is one of a polar dial, but also includes the sun's analemma so dial viewers can correct for the equation of time.

The dial was designed by the late Ben Davis and donated to the school in his honor by Honey Davis, his mother.   Installed on campus near the Science and Technology Building, Dr. Tom Keegan perhaps expressed sentiments the best when he said, “Honey Davis’ very generous gift to Peninsula College is deeply appreciated.  It’s fitting that it be placed by our Science and Technology Building so that Ben’s amazing engineering skills serve as an inspiration to our students and encourage them to stop and look and study his sundial."  

Read more: Peninsula College Sundial

nass_news_2011_april_dial_watchA novel wrist watch is being proposed which uses LED's instead of the sun to cast shadows.  Proposed by an individual named Anders who lives in Sweden, the watch, which is still just a concept, is read much like a conventional analog watch.  But instead of an hour hand and a minute hand, it uses LEDs which rotate around the outer ring of the dial and shine on a small gnomon at the center of the watch.  One LED casts a shadow for telling hours and another for telling minutes.  It is too soon to tell whether this concept watch will prove popular enough to manufacture.

Read more: Sundial Wrist Watch

A parasol that tells time.Primarily an industrial designer, Kota Nezu has designed a parasol for people who use their umbrellas for shade as well as staying dry.

With just a little bit of effort, Nezu's dial can be used to tell the approximate time of day and season of the year. The parasol comes equipped with a small compass to aid in lining things up.  And even though a true sundial aficionado might point out that a proper dial has to be designed for a specific latitude, this handly umbrella is sure to be a conversation starter come rain or shine.