Sundials - World's Oldest Clocks

North American Sundial Society

Selected Sundials of Pennsylvania

Click on any photo or city name to get more sundial details and more photos.

Philadelphia Pennsylvania USA Armillary Dial 153
Armillary dial, in garden behind locked gates. Pedestal visible, but missing the armillary.
Philadelphia Pennsylvania USA Reclining Cross Dial 154
A small Reclining Cross Dial about 18 inches tall, made of stone. Sits on a round stone pillar about 4 feet tall. Pillar has a square base and round top.
Philadelphia Pennsylvania USA Vertical Dial 155
Vertical Dial
Philadelphia Pennsylvania USA Horizontal Dial 156
A 1 foot diameter bronze horizontal dial in backyard garden. May be from 18th century. Gnomon is shaky for its bolts are loose. Style angle is about 51?, an angle for London, not for Philadelphia.
Philadelphia Pennsylvania USA Horizontal Dial 157
A 1 foot diameter bronze horizontal dial on a square granite pedestal 3 feet tall. Possibly made in 18th century. Beautiful engraving.
Philadelphia Pennsylvania USA Analemmatic Dial 158
Analemmatic dial with bronze standing figures.
Philadelphia Pennsylvania USA Horizontal Dial 160
A 1 foot diameter bronze horizontal dial. It was presented by National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors in 1991. However, the style angle is 52?.
Philadelphia Pennsylvania USA Horizontal Dial 229
Brass horizontal dial by Alexander Stirling Calder. Local Hour lines plus EoT monthly corrections and differences between 12 world cities. Pedestal Sculpture is white marble and depicts 4 seated young women as the 4 seasons holding the dial on their shoulders. Built in 1905. Tip of gnomon appears damaged. The dial base is carved marble depicting four seated young female figures representing the four seasons.
Philadelphia Pennsylvania USA Equatorial Dial 741
An equatorial projection dial with a 12 inch diameter stainless steel equatorial ring incised with Arabic hour numerals that project onto a grooved central support shaft of Cipollino and Carrara marble set on a bluestone foundation. A hole near the top of the central marble shaft emits flowing water that runs down the central groove and is recirculated in the warm months. The sundial/fountain marble shaft is 7 inches wide, 36 inches high with a 24 by 55 inch wide base. The dial and nearby Cipollino marble bench rest on a 13-1/2 foot diameter foundation of bluestone pavers set on concrete. Direct sunlight on the dial is limited by two of the three nearby buildings. In summer with a high elevation sun, sunlight casts gnomon shadows mid-day and for a few hours in the afternoon. The sundial/fountain sculpture was commissioned by Society Hill Towers in honor of I. M. Pei, Architect of the Towers and was dedicated on the 40th anniversary of the Towers in 2003.
Pittsburgh Pennsylvania USA Horizontal Dial 107
A small horizontal metal dial perhaps 10 or 12 inches in diameter. The gnomon sits in the middle of the dial with an ornate cross-brace support. Surrounding the dial are two inscriptions. Gnomon is missing. The dial sits on a square stone supported by a square column of white stone.
Pittsburgh Pennsylvania USA Horizontal Dial 108
A circular horizontal dial about 18 inches in diameter. The dial has been removed altogether. Dial sits atop a circular column of ornately carved white stone with spiral flutes on the lower half.
Pittsburgh Pennsylvania USA Horizontal Dial 110
A horizontal dial of brass about 18 inches in diameter with a fluted edge. The gnomon is a simple design. The dial is supported by four balusters resting on a larger circular base. SUNDIAL HAS BEEN REMOVED FROM BASE
Pittsburgh Pennsylvania USA Horizontal Dial 641
A 12 inch octagonal carved sandstone horizontal dial with Roman hour numerals from 4 AM to 8 PM. The gnomon is missing. Dial face includes carved figures of a snake and a thistle and is marked latitude 40 35. The 1763 date ascribed to the dial's origin is coincident with the relief of the siege of Fort Pitt during Pontiac's Rebellion in that year. The 42nd and 77th Regiments of the Highland Guard and the 60th Regiment of the Royal Americans defeated the Native forces (Delaware, Shawnee, Mingo and Huron Tribes) at the Battle of Bushy Run in August, 1763, successfully quelling the Indian uprising in Southwestern Pennsylvania. The Highland Guard is artistically represented on the sundial by the thistle and the Royal Americans by the snake. Although the assignment of the 1763 date to the dial is not conclusive, the history of Fort Pitt, together with the design elements seen on the sundial and the location of its discovery, provides a plausible conclusion. This dial is reported to have been found at the site of the Fort Pitt Block House during its 1894 restoration by the Pittsburgh Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution who still own and preserve the structure and the sundial as a private museum. The Block House is the only surviving structure of Fort Pitt. Following the sundial's discovery in 1894, the dial was housed in the archives of the Carnegie Museum in Pittsburgh until 1916 when it was placed on a pedestal on the grounds of the Fort Pitt Block House for display. The dial was unfortunately exposed to acid rain then later covered with protective glass (later Plexiglas) that inadvertently accelerated its deterioration. Fortunately, an excellent picture taken between 1894 and 1900 shows the dial was in good condition when originally recovered. The dial was moved to a display case inside the Fort Pitt Block House in 2006. Today, the dial face is grainy and light gray. The reverse side is an irregular brownish gray that features an arrangement of holes that formerly served to mount the dial; four smaller holes marked by rust stains likely date to the 1980s when the dial was placed on a new, square granite pedestal. The dial face may be covered with a slip coating that was carved to produce the dial features. Measurement and analysis of the sundial hour line angles by Roger Bailey of NASS shows the dial was correctly designed for the latitude of Fort Pitt and even included a noon gap to correct for the thickness of the (now missing) gnomon.
Pittsburgh Pennsylvania USA Armillary Dial 436
Large metal armillary dial, about 6 feet in diameter. Has a double equatorial ring with Roman numerals for the hours held between the two rings. Also has horizontal and vertical rings. Dial has been removed.
Skippack Pennsylvania USA Analemmatic Dial 650
A concrete and engraved brick analemmatic dial set in a garden of crushed rock.
State College Pennsylvania USA Analemmatic Dial 835
A simple analemmatic dial about 12 feet across. Square unmarked flagstone or pavers mark the hours. The walkway has a concrete base covered by the same flagstone or pavers. The walkway months are embossed in the stone.
Swarthmore Pennsylvania USA Vertical Decliner Dial 35
Modern design for a vertical dial declining 20.5? east on a brick wall. The gnomon is a twisted sheet of bronze, casting shadows onto granite hour marks. The dial was designed by Marti Cowan using Waugh's formulae for vertical dials. Frederick Orthlieb, professor and chair of the Dept of Engineering at Swarthmore "had a part in locating the bent-plate gnomon so as to give correct indications on the vertical wall? As installed, the gnomon's indicating edge (which lies on a Polar Axis) casts a quite short shadow in Autumn and Winter and requires some observing skill to make a close estimate of indicated time, but in Spring and Summer the longer shadow moves over the granite hour marks very plainly."
University Park Pennsylvania USA Armillary Dial 64
A bronze armillary dial with meridian and equatorial rings and Arctic and Antarctic circles on a stone pedestal.