Sundials - World's Oldest Clocks

North American Sundial Society

On June 6th 2018, an interest memorial sundial was donated to the Clifford A. Phaneuf Environmental Center at Forest Park, MA just off U.S. 91 and a stone's throw from the Connecticut River.  According to Mass Live (https://www.masslive.com/news/index.ssf/2018/06/new_sundial_at_forest_park_env.html), "During the public ceremony, the sculpted sundial was donated by the family of retired Hampden County Housing Court Judge Edward C. Peck Jr. and dedicated in memory of Peck's late wife, Ruth Mahoney Peck."  The Peck family commissioned sculptor James Kitchen who created a run-patina steel sundial with the base of an old mill circular saw blade and setting a pipe wrench and ice skate blade welded together as gnomon. According to Burt Freedman, a retired teacher of the Environmental Center for Our Schools at Forest Park, the dial provides references to the industrial and agricultural history of Springfield and Forest Park. 

The Hour Lines are short vanes of steel raised about 1" above the circular saw blade. A slight dome extends from the hour line circle to the center where the sundial gnomon sets.  Although the 6am-6pm line meets the base of the gnomon, the fact that the gnomon is raised 2 or more inches above the saw blade, sets the virtual foot of the gnomon far back of the 6-6 line.  Thus, although the sundial is esthetically beautiful and represents history of the area, perhaps it tells time with considerably more error than expected from the Equation of Time. [No longitude correction is provided, resulting in nearly 10 minutes of constant error.]