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 our complete listing and images. To see sundials in a particular state or province, you may click on the list at left to see all registered sundials in that state, province or country (at bottom) displayed in city order.

 
 
Ithaca New York USA Equatorial Dial 99
This 650 pound equatorial has an adjustment This setup enables the instrument to read clock time. making this a very precise instrument. The gearing rusted in 1980 and was refurbished: "The heart of the sundial's functionality, a roundish steel disc called a cam, was also replaced with a stainless steel, slightly better-functioning one, connected to an hour and minute scale by small, stainless steel cables via a pair of precisely designed pulleys." Thus the mechanical adjustment compensates the sun's irregular motion called the Equation of Time and shows civil not solar time.
 
 
Morristown New Jersey USA Horizontal Dial 98
12.75' dia. Granite with Bronze numerals 10" long. Commonly called the Washington Memorial Dial. An inscription on the octagonal base indicates this memorial is a tribute from the Daughters of the American Revolution.
 
 
Isles of Shoals New Hampshire USA Armillary Dial 97
Simple armillary dial about 2 feet in diameter sits on a triangular cut stone pedestal. The equatorial band has raised Arabic numbers at each hour. The hours are adjusted by 42 minutes to correct for zone time. The gnomon is an arrow rod of traditional fashion. The base supporting the armillary is a small hemisphere globe, with a map of the continents plainly visible. The armillary cuts the globe at the Greenwich hour line facing due north. The triangular granite stone pedestal was once part of the Captain John Smith Monument, commemorating him as the discoverer of the Isles of Shoals in 1610.
 
 
Kalamazoo Michigan USA Horizontal Dial 96
Large circular bench ca 25' in diameter forms ring with hour markings. Aluminum or stainless steel gnomon. Relatively new.
 
 
Worcester Massachusetts USA Equatorial Dial 95
ca 6' segment of cylinder, approx 3' high Metal Gnomon is intentionally omitted. Visitor stands centered in the curve of the cylinder and places finger on crossbar as directed. Shadow of finger indicates the time.
 
 
Collinsville Illinois USA Woodhenge Dial 94
At the Cahokia Mounds is a woodhenge discovered in the early 1960's during excavations and has been reconstructed. There are a series of wood posts in multiple circles that indicate various solar events such as the solstices, equinoxes, and what are thought to be special festival days related to the agricultural cycle of the region. Critical posts also align with the mounds of the site on certain dates. The outer of 3 circles of posts has a diameter of 410 feet with 48 equidistant posts. Each post is about 20 feet high. Equinox and solstice sunrise observations are held at the site on the Sunday morning closest to the event.
 
 
Halifax Nova Scotia Canada Horizontal Dial 93
Bronze horizontal dial on a granite base. Has Roman numerals showing time noting "Mean solar time in Halifax is 1 hour and 14 minutes behind Atlantic Standard Time."
 
 
Milton Massachusetts USA Vertical Decliner Dial 92
A vertical south facing dial made of painted mahogany with an aluminum gnomon. The dial is in the shape of a shield 3 foot tall by 2 1/2 foot wide, following the seal of the Milton Academy. Around the edge are the hours in Roman numeral. An Equation of Time correction table is now missing, but does not detract from the beauty of the dial.
 
 
Baltimore Maryland USA Polyhedral Dial 91
Bronze on stone. Renovated 1904 and again in 1994 (by George McDowell.). It is a 17-facet hemispherical compendium dial. Has facets calibrated for local solar time for Baltimore, Jeddo [Tokyo], Honolulu, Sitka, Pitcairn Islands, San Francisco, Cape Cod, Rio Jancito, London, Fernano Po, Cape Town, Jerusalem, and Calcutta. Has a polar and vertical dial for Baltimore time. Built in 1892 by Peter Hamilton, 19th C Baltimore stonecutter, became president of the company which supplied granite for the Library of Congress building. Repaired and reset in 1904. Reworked in 1993. The original pedestal remains, consisting of a stone pillar carved to resemble the trunk of a tree.
 
 
Frankfort Kentucky USA Horizontal Dial 90
The Kentucky Vietnam Veterans Memorial features a 7090 square foot plaza with a monumental 86x68 foot horizontal dial of granite slabs with a 14.6 foot high gnomon of welded stainless steel plates. The dial design places the shadow of the tip of the gnomon on each of 1103 veteran's names on the anniversary of his or her death. MIA names are engraved in an area where the shadow never falls. The dial face identifies one hour of time for each year of the 1962-1975 Vietnam War. The 327 granite slabs from the Pyramid Blue quarry in Elberton, Georgia are a maximum of 12x3 feet, are 4 inches thick and are placed atop 800 concrete piers 28 inches high to provide drainage and protection from frost heaving.
 
 
Orlando Florida USA Pillar Dial 89
Reconstruction of a 4-sided pillar dial.
 
 
Detroit Michigan USA Armillary Dial 88
A 6 foot diameter wrought iron armillary with equatorial and polar rings. Hour numerals are missing. Cast zodiacal signs are present in fair condition on exterior of equatorial ring. Dial is on a decaying brick circular pedestal at the center of a concrete and brick base. Rings are heavily marked with graffiti. The dial sits atop a brick and mortar pedestal in poor condition.
 
 
Quebec Quebec Canada Vertical Dial 87
Vertical dial on a board, about 1.5m high by 1 m wide. White with red lettering. It is placed above a doorway on an interior courtyard of the old Seminary, founded in 1663 by Mgr de Laval. The building now houses the architecture school of the Laval University. Although the school and Seminary buildings are private, access is available to the courtyard.
 
 
Stratford Connecticut USA Vertical Dial 86
Large vertical dial at the Shakespeare Festival Theatre entrance. The dial is formed around a large circular sunburst with Roman numerals at the edge. Gnomon is missing. Dial declines east and is non-functional for this position and location. Above the dial is a shield. The original sundial was a gift of US Time Corp., as Timex was then known. This dial was of sheet metal and is substantially rusted, with pieces missing. The original dial was removed and will be replaced as another gift of Timex with a new dial built by Global Scenic Services with engineering and testing by a Timex engineer. The new dial will use templates from the original dial for replication but is built with modern materials for better weathering. The new dial will be calibrated for EDST.
 
 
Storrs Connecticut USA Pillar Dial 85
Waugh memorial dial. Not oriented on cardinal points. It was rotated to avoid tree and adjacent building shadows. Gift of Mr. & Mrs. Kenneth Lynch Sr., the Alumni Association, and funds raised for the purpose. The stone pillar is 12 ft. high. Constructed by the firm of Kenneth Lynch & Sons.
 
 
Pomfret Connecticut USA Pillar Dial 84
A 22 ft. high stone pillar dial built by William Ross Carpenter as a replica of the famous Charles Turnbull dial of Corpus Christi College in England dating from 1577. The pillar has multiple dials of various types. The Carpenter replica built in 1912 was restored in 1987. Ornate dial furniture with multiple inscriptions. A complex masterpiece. See the NASS Compendium Vol. 2 No. 1 for more details.
 
 
Newington Connecticut USA horizontal Dial 83
Bronze horizontal ring, suspended by curved semi-circles, with gnomon rising from the center toward the North. "...you can see resemblances to an anchor, a gimbal, and a mariner's compass" says designer Searle Lansing-Jones.
 
 
San Francisco California USA Horizontal Dial 82
Built in 1913 as a promotion for a housing development that was once a racetrack, this dial boasted (incorrectly) that at 34 feet in diameter and 28 foot gnomon it was the largest dial in the United States. Nevertheless it gathered much publicity and newspaper articles of the day showed young girls dancing around a small pool that surrounded the gnomon. Bronze statues of porpoise were said to be in the pool. Today the statues are gone and the pool is green painted cement. Still, an interesting dial to visit.
 
 
Aurora Colorado USA Equatorial Dial 81
A large Erickson Monument equatorial polar dial 6 feet in diameter made of light granite with a 3 inch steel rod as gnomon. The dial was dedicated as part of the bicentennial celebrations in July 1976. Hour lines from 4am to 8pm. Time is graduated by half-hour, quarter hours and 5 minute marks. Designed to be read from the upper surface in Spring/Summer, from the under side in Fall/Winter. A plaque provides the Equation of Time to convert solar time to watch time. Dial has both the bicentennial emblem and the city seal of the city of Aurora.
 
 
San Diego California USA Vertical Reclining Dial 80
This dial was originally owned and installed at Sea World in San Diego but was sold and purchased by Verlyn Kuhlmann. A 39 inch diameter reclining vertical dial of cast concrete with a 20 inch long steel gnomon. Dial reclines about 50°. Includes cast hour lines with Arabic numerals and longitude correction. A separate plaque provides instructions and an EOT graph. The dial is mounted on a 24 inch square aluminum base plate and short column support.