Sundials - World's Oldest Clocks

North American Sundial Society

Monegaw Springs  

Sundial 888
State/Province:  Missouri Country:  USA
Dial Type:  Compass Condition:  Fair
Latitude:   38° 1.550' N Longitude:   93° 50.800' W
Location:
  • At the end of NW317 Road leading to the Osage River. The compass is carved on the north bluff overlooking the Osage River in the area known as Younger's Lookout.
 
Description:
  • This compass is carved in rock showing cardinal points. For some reason the N mark is backward and a W mark is upside down. A surrounding circle of 10 inches in diameter defines most of the compass. A smaller circle encompasses the letter N and a partial circle carved from the center is approximately 4 inches in diameter.

    The N-S and E-W lines are perpendicular and divided by a number of lines. Relative azimuths from north are the following lines:
    -100, -90 West, -73, -62, -42, -25, 0 North
    +102, +90 East, +76, +44, +26, 0 North
    and two more lines south of east
    +110, +117 (opposite the -62 line)

    It appears that the N-S and E-W lines were bisected with lines near 45° (-42° & 45°) and then bisected again for 22.5°(-25° & 26°) and 67.5°(-62°, but the western bisection line is missing...only to have its compliment at 117°). Then a set of 15° lines were drawn (-73° & 76°). Below the E-W line a set of 10° lines were drawn (-100° & 102°). Two more lines (110° and 117°) were drawn before the East line.

    At the 110° line, outside the compass circle, the number "VII" is engraved. Perhaps some lines point to features on the horizon.

    There are a series of small holes drilled in the compass lines. A hyperbola can be drawn to connect them, suggesting that on a day approaching the spring equinox (or just after the fall equinox) someone posted a vertical stick in the center of the compass and marked the length of the stick's shadow as it crossed each line, creating a gnomonic sundial!

    This carved compass is directly above Younger's Cave, the notorious outlaw gang of the 1870's. Beside the Younger Brothers, Jesse and Frank James were part of the gang. The compass could have been carved by one of these characters as they surveyed the landscape at Younger's Lookout.
 
General Information:Inscription:
  • Owner:
  • "VII" is carved at the end of one of the "compass" lines
  • Designer: Younger Brothers?
  • Builder: Younger Brothers?
  • Construction Date: circa 1870
 
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Last Revised: 2017-12-16 22:25