Sundials - World's Oldest Clocks

North American Sundial Society

Claremont  

Sundial 505
State/Province:  California Country:  USA
Dial Type:  Equatorial Condition:  Excellent
Latitude:   34° 05.953' N Longitude:   117° 43.730' W
Location:
  • Larkin Park
    650 N. Mountain Avenue
    Claremont
 
Description:
  • A 90 inch diameter spherical segment equatorial dial ten feet high of masonry construction with 3D fiberglass analemmic gnomon 40 inches long. Dial terrazzo face has hour, half-hour, quarter-hour and 5-minute marks with Roman hour numerals for PST. The 5-minute marks are one inch apart. Dial face includes analemma graphic with month dates; a plaque describes how to use the analemma graphic to select which side of the gnomon shadow to use to read time. Base perimeter has 12 ceramic plaques with Zodiacal signs.

    Indicated time is accurate to one minute throughout the winter and to five minutes in summer. This is remarkable because the dial is located just outside a children's playground and children routinely climb on the dial and swing from the gnomon. An animation from digital images showing the gnomon shadow motion over the course of a full year is available.

    Dedicated as the Ralph B. Larkin Memorial Sundial. Rev. Larkin was a retired missionary who taught science to children for 17 years in Claremont. Dr. Larkin's father was Edgar Lucien Larkin, Director of the Mt. Lowe Observatory above Los Angeles 1900-1924 using a 16-inch Alvan Clark refractor telescope, described by Alvan Clark as, "the finest telescope I ever made." Ralph Larkin often said, "I grew up with a telescope." The Mt. Lowe Observatory was destroyed in a windstorm in 1928 and the Alvan Clark refractor was moved to Ricard Observatory at the University of Santa Clara, California.
 
General Information:Inscription:
  • Owner: City of Claremont
  • Small plaque, "Larking Memorial Sundial erected by friends of Dr. Ralph B. Larkin" with further text instructing that, "Diagram below shows which edge of shadow gives Pacific Standard Time for today's date. For daylight savings time, add one hour."
  • Designer: John Baer, General Dynamics engineer
  • Builder:
  • Construction Date: 1958
 
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Last Revised: 7/22/2012 9:30