Sundials - World's Oldest Clocks

North American Sundial Society

Victoria  

Sundial 813
State/Province:  British Columbia Country:  Canada
Dial Type:  Horizontal Condition:  Good
Latitude:   48° 25.167' N Longitude:   123° 22.083' W
Location:
  • The dial is in the BC Museum, 675 Belleville St. Victoria, east of BC Legislature and south of Empress Hotel.

    Find the dial on the 3rd floor in the "Becoming BC Gallery - Building a Province." The display is in the Old Town Attorney General's office.
 
Description:
  • This brass horizontal sundial was designed and engraved for use in the town of Hope BC by British Royal Engineers in 1860. The circular dial is 8 inches diameter with a triangular gnomon. Time lines are engraved at 15 minute intervals from 4 am to 8 pm. The dial is on display in the museum beside other survey instruments and the red uniform of a Royal Engineers Sergeant.

    This is a historically significant sundial. The context is the influx of American prospectors heading north after the California gold rush and the necessity to establish the British presence in the interior of British Columbia. Gold had been found up the Fraser River in 1857 and the fur trading at fort Hope became a boom town in 1858. The Governor of the colony of British Columbia requested that the Royal Engineers be dispatched from Britain to establish a control with law and order and to build roads into the interior to facilitate development of the expanding colony. Until this time the colony of British Columbia was just Vancouver Island. The Royal Engineers were important to the expanding colony of British Columbia, island and interior, eventually becoming a major Province in Canada. The town of Hope is on the Fraser River at the strategic junction with the Coquihalla and Skagit Valleys. This sundial is a mark of the presence of the Royal Engineers.
 
General Information:Inscription:
  • Owner: British Columbia Museum
  • The dial face is inscribed: "HOPE Lat 49 22' 21" North Lat 121 27' 58" West" and a table of the Equation of Time showing dates and time corrections Fast or Slow. Around the rim the inscription includes "Royal Engineers" and possibly the date "1861". However, there is a small tag above the sundial saying "Sundial, made by the Royal Engineers in 1860 for Hope British Columbia".
  • Designer: Royal Engineers
  • Builder: Royal Engineers
  • Construction Date: 1860
 

Last Revised: 2016-01-04 03:47