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).

 
 
Washington District of Columbia USA Horizontal Dial 850
This horizontal dial was commissioned by the District of Columbia Department of General Services for the newly renovated River Terrace Educational Campus. The mosaic dial is installed within a 20 ft diameter concrete plaza. The dial face is a beautifully colored spectrum of Italian Piccolo porcelain 1-inch mosaic tiles encompassing a circle 8 ft in diameter. Embedded in the mosaic chapter ring are 7-inch aluminum Arabic numbers marking the hours from 6am to 6pm and just within are letters marking the cardinal points. The aluminum gnomon is 4 ft. long and 2.83 ft tall.
 
 
Lucedale Mississippi USA Armillary Dial 849
The armillary is constructed of stainless steel with rings approximately 34 inches in diameter. The equatorial ring is a 3-inch band with 1-inch cast bronze Arabic hour numbers showing standard time and 1/2 inch cast bronze numbers for Daylight Saving Time. The other rings are unconventional. Rather than a horizontal ring, the ring is canted to match the latitude. The solstial ring that traditionally runs completely over the N-S vertical meridian is only 3/4 complete, creating an open area from the upper portion of the equatorial band to the southern pole that allows better viewing of the equatorial time ring when standing behind the armillary. The dial can be adjusted for the equation of time by rotating the equatorial ring to align on a plate with month marks set to the equation of time plus longitude offset, allowing the sundial to tell civil time.
 
 
St. Louis Missouri USA Horizontal Dial 848
The original sundial, made in 1841, was 14 inches in diameter and sat on a limestone pedestal 30 inches high. In early drawings from the late 1890's and later photos, the dial had a massive triangular gnomon. For years it served as the post chronometer.
 
 
St. Louis Missouri USA Horizontal Dial 847
The circular bronze dial has a massive triangular gnomon and is kept under a protective plastic dome. In R. McGuire's book, St. Louis Arsenal - Armory Of The West is a picture of the sundial for which the caption reads "On December 12, 1859, master armorer N. Engels, machinist A. Schaedel, and engraver W. Hawksley dedicated a sundial, which they had created entirely from spare ordnance materials. It was a scientifically precise instrument, measuring 17 inches in diameter, and was used for many years as the definitive chronometer of the arsenal. Engraved upon it was a poem entitled 'The Bird of Liberty,' reflecting the patriotic fervor of the day."
 
 
New Orleans Louisiana USA Horizontal Dial 846
Amidst the gardens in City Park is the Bacher Sundial, an 18-foot diameter pebbled concrete horizontal sundial set flush with the ground. The gnomon is well made, with curves nicely cut, edges straight, and the weld fillet is smooth and blends the upright with the base nicely. It is set on a low circular dais set considerably south of the center of the circular dial face. The gnomon is a simple iron blade 144 inches in length along the style edge. At the base, slots for anchoring the gnomon allow adjustment of 8-10 degrees to align to true north. Currently the gnomon sits near the center of the range, but can be pushed by hand to either end of the range. With loose nuts holding the gnomon, it appears canted at the base. Tightening the nuts could restore gnomon to its necessary 30 degree angle, but deterioration of the bolt anchors may prevent full tightening.
 
 
Nashotah Wisconsin USA Horizontal Dial 845
In a quite, shaded corner of the Nashotah House Theological Seminary is a copper alloy horizontal dial. The dial plate is a 10 inch square, 3/32 inches thick. The dial is engraved with several concentric circles with with large Roman hour marks on an outer ring from 5am to 7pm. Time is delineated in 5 minute increments on the outer circle, but includes an inner circle delineated in 15 minute increments. In the center of the dial is an 8-point compass rose with engraved directions. The quarter inch thick brass gnomon is a simple raised bar acting as style with an "S" shaped support.
 
 
Baltimore Maryland USA Analemmatic Dial 844
Volunteers painted a 16 x 5 foot analemmatic dial for the elementary and middle school students. The dial has 8-inch circles for hour numbers from 5am to 7pm using standard time. The dial walkway is painted with yellow month lines and abbreviations for each month to the side. The words "summer" and "winter" are at the solstice lines. Bailey points are painted as small yellow circles to indicate the direction of sunrise and sunset from the observer's position on the walkway.
 
 
Baltimore Maryland USA Analemmatic Dial 843
Volunteers painted a 16 x 5 foot analemmatic dial for the elementary and middle school students. The dial has 8-inch circles for hour numbers from 5am to 7pm using standard time. The dial walkway is painted with yellow month lines and abbreviations for each month to the side. The words "summer" and "winter" are at the solstice lines. Bailey points are painted as small yellow circles to indicate the direction of sunrise and sunset from the observer's position on the walkway.
 
 
Ocean Shores Washington USA Horizontal Dial 842
This large horizontal dial has a gnomon in the shape of an anchor and concrete minimalist dial surface in the shape of a triangle, keeping the theme of the location "Triangle Park". Three time Arabic hour numbers of 9, 12 and 3 are embedded into the concrete slab and two other time marks of 6am and 6pm are on separate pads located outside the main dial area.
 
 
Milwaukee Wisconsin USA Vertical Dial 841
This large vertical south facing sundial is fabricated from aluminum. Eight slender hour lines delineate the time. At the top of the hour lines along the winter solstice are acrylic numbers on the circular hour plates showing time from 10am to 5pm. At the bottom of the hour lines along the summer solstice are additional acrylic numbers showing daylight saving time from 11am to 6pm. A short horizontal bar shows the equinox.
 
 
Sheridan Wyoming USA Horizontal Dial 840
This monumental horizontal dial is 15 ft. in diameter sitting on a foundation of poured concrete and rebar. The dial face is etched on 4 large granite slabs from Canada. The gnomon is a 6-inch diameter steel pipe 97inches tall with a welded nodus ball and a triangular sheet beneath the gnomon that has a sun and the school logo (a mountain range) cut into it casting projected images onto the sundial face.
 
 
Twin Falls Idaho USA Analemmic Equatorial Dial 839
This beautiful stainless steel equatorial is approximately 1m in diameter with brass inlay for the equatorial time, divided down to the minute. This is also an analemmic sundial where the brass gnomon is cut out in the shape of an analemma allowing the user to directly correct for the equation of time. The analemma is marked with 365 individual date marks.
 
 
South Lee Massachusetts USA Vertical Dial 838
On the transom of a brown wood shingled and stone building that looks like it once was a church is a vertical south declining wooden sundial about 2 x 2 feet square. The sundial is painted red with a nicely cut wood gnomon. Hour lines and Roman numerals from VI to VI are chiseled into the wood, along with an inscription. The dial is framed in wood as well but the contrasting grey paint is flaking off.
 
 
Bloomfield Hills Michigan USA Horizontal Dial 837
In the Cranbrook Gardens, where works of art topiary and American crafts are displayed, one can find a brass horizontal dial transformed into a beautiful sculpture of a swan with the tail serving as the style, and the hour lines are the feathers of the wings. A small circle with Arabic numbers delineates the hours.
 
 
St. Louis Missouri USA Horizontal Dial 836
A horizontal sundial made on an octagonal brass plate, measuring 12 inches from side to side. The engraved hour lines are divided with marks for half, quarter and eighth parts of the hour. The hour numbers themselves are outward facing Roman numerals. The brass gnomon is bent slightly to the west by vandals. The pedestal is 37.5 inches tall with a 17 inch circular top cap of pink marble. Unfortunately the dial is located near a tree, so it is in shade for part of day.
 
 
State College Pennsylvania USA Analemmatic Dial 835
A simple analemmatic dial about 12 feet across. Square unmarked flagstone or pavers mark the hours. The walkway has a concrete base covered by the same flagstone or pavers. The walkway months are embossed in the stone.
 
 
Lucedale Mississippi USA Analemmatic Dial 834
This analemmatic dial (sometimes called a human sundial) is designed for children. Approximately 16 ft wide, it is constructed of red brick with steel hour marks. The numbers for standard time are large silver and the numbers for daylight saving time are smaller and black. A black steel walkway is located in the center of the dial with embossed months of the year. Children stand on the month. Their shadow marks the time. Large numbers are standard time. Small numbers are daylight saving time.
 
 
Ottawa Ontario Canada Horizontal Dial 833
A garden variety round horizontal sundial about 12 inches in diameter. It looks like a bronze casting with iron staining from steel bolts. Hours marks only from VI to VI (6 am to 6 pm). The dial is located in a very shaded spot close to a building and surrounded by trees. Ornamental. Dial plate has inscription "Tempus Omnia Revelat" (Time Reveals All).
 
 
Hanover New Hampshire USA Vertical Dial 832
This octagonal vertical sundial is mounted on the due south facing wall of Shattuck Observatory. The dial is painted on wood. The hours are VI to VI (6 am to 6 pm) with lines for half and quarter hours. The thick triangular gnomon is rigidly mounted on the dial face. The dial is in excellent mechanical condition but the paint is flaking badly due to sun and weather exposure.
 
 
Portland Maine USA Equatorial Dial 831
Prominent in the cemetery is a large equatorial sundial about 4 ft in diameter. The dial was custom built for the location latitude and longitude. It is made of cast, anodized aluminum. The equatorial ring is 8-inch side arc with Roman numeral hours from VI to VI (6am to 6pm) with marks at 5 minute intervals. The scale is shifted to correct for longitude. The gnomon is an elegant arrow. It sits on a 4 ft plinth made of river stone, capped with a circular 6 inch block of polished granite.