Sundials - World's Oldest Clocks

North American Sundial Society

Queens  

Sundial 247
State/Province:  New York Country:  USA
Dial Type:  Horizontal Condition:  Historic
Latitude:   40° 44.382' N Longitude:   72° 50.448' W
Location: Access: Public/Private access to this dial is unknown.
  • 1939 World's Fair
    On Constitution Mall near the Perisphere
    now Flushing Meadow Park between I-678 (Van Wyck Expressway) and the Grand Central Parkway.

    Dial was dismantled at the end of the fair
 
Description:
  • Paul Manship was commissioned to make the sundial for the 1939 World's Fair in New York. The dial was named "Time and the Fates of Man." Manship wrote, "The Perisphere and Trylon at the World's Fair suggests to me measurements of time and space, so my sundial… relates to the background of the central motif of the Fair." His white plaster sculpture was the biggest sundial in the world, standing 80 feet tall.

    Underneath the gnomon are the Three Fates, the daughters of Themis, the Goddess of Necessity. Sitting under the tree that holds up the sundial's gnomon are Clotho, Lachesis and Atropos, known together as The Fates. All living things must eventually submit to these divine daughters of Zeus and Themis. Life is woven by Clotho, measured by Lachesis and, finally, in a very literal sense, the thread of life is cut by Atropos. The god Apollo looks on in the guise of a crow.
 
General Information:
  • Owner: World's Fair Corporation
  • Designer: Paul Manship
  • Builder: Paul Manship
  • Construction Date: May 1939 - taken down at the end of the fair
 
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Last Revised: 2017-05-26 14:50