Sundials - World's Oldest Clocks

North American Sundial Society

Selected Sundials of California

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

 
 
Death Valley California USA Vertical Dial 76
Prospector and con man Walter Scott convinced Chicago millionaire Albert Johnson to invest in his gold mine in the Death Valley area. The mine was a fraud, but Johnson began building his Spanish Revival Villa in 1922 that continued until the stock market crash of 1929. Martin de Dubovay was the architect, Mat Roy Thompson was the engineer and head of construction, and Charles Alexander MacNeilledge was the designer
 
 
DeLand Illinois USA Four-dialed pillar Dial 360
Granite four-dialed pillar about 5 foot high, possibly dating from the mid 17th century. Purportedly found in 1650 in Tinturn, Monmouthshire, England, and consistent with the dial latitude of 52 N. Dial face is 18 x18 inches. Gnomons on both east and west sides are turned off its original declination. A gift from Robert H. Allerton. The dial is well-traveled, and was brought to the United States in 1890 by the John Wanamaker stores. The fascinating history of this dial can be found in NASS Compendium Vol. 6 No. 1, Dec., 1998.
 
 
Delaware Ohio USA Armillary Dial 595
A 24 inch diameter stainless steel armillary dial with equator, meridian and horizon rings. The armillary includes compass points and zodiacal symbols. The dial sits atop a 6 foot tall architectural sculpture of four two-columned arches also made of formed and welded stainless steel sheet with a random polished pattern creating dark and bright areas that change as the sun moves across the work. The armillary is held by fingers of a sculpted hand, representative of works by the designer, Alvin Sher, and symbolizing mankind, creativity, knowledge, peace and greeting as well as identity among many other human meanings. The dial sits atop a six foot tall stainless steel architectural sculpture with four pairs of columns with a supporting arch between each pair. The entire sculpture is made of textured and welded sheet up to 3/16 inch thick.
 
 
Delphos Ohio USA Horizontal Dial 548
A horizontal dial on a stone block. Dedicated to Leslie C. Peltier, recognized as "World's greatest non-professional astronomer" by Harvard Observatory. Dial sits atop a stone block, possibly marble.
 
 
Denver Colorado USA Equatorial Dial 24
Large Erickson equatorial monument dial. It consists of a disc of pink granite about 6 feet in diameter and 6 inches thick, tilted on edge to align with the earth's equator. The gnomon is an approximately 3 inches in diameter, made of a stainless steel rod piercing the disc at 90 degrees. It supports the disc from below, and protrudes about 2-3 feet above the disc; far enough that it casts a shadow on the face of the disc all summer. Winter shadows fall on the back side of the dial, also engraved with hour lines. The original sundial was erected in 1941. Dean Babcock was associated with the late Stephen A. Ionides of Erickson Monument Co. in designing and setting various sundials in Colorado, including this one. When George Cranmer undertook to place a dial of Chinese tradition in Cranmer park, Dean helped Ionides to translate the Chinese characters into Arabic. The stone cutter was probably John Earl Hershberger. The dial was replaced with the current one March 21, 1966 after the original was dynamited by vandals. The sandstone of the sundial base came from Lyons, Colorado. It is 5'5" thick and extends two feet below the pavement. In his inimitable style, Cranmer wrote in 1950 that "the sundial is only seventeen seconds of time East of the 105th Meridian on which Mountain Time is based, and since the whole setting is so accurate, one can set his watch by it." Erickson Monument, makers of the original sundial, created the award replica.
 
 
Denver Colorado USA Horizontal Dial 286
A large horizontal 6 1/2 ft. x 4 ft. dial in bronze A child figure stands, casting a shadow on the sundial. Child's hands should hold a gnomon rod, now missing. Dial and figure are placed atop a granite pedestal.
 
 
Denver Colorado USA Vertical Dial 368
On the southwest side of the Emerson School Building (now an office building and historic landmark) is a large white stone vertical dial with a stone gnomon. The large stone dial is part of the original brick building erected in 1884. Local history holds that the original architect was somewhat staid and stuffy and only agreed to include the sundial "because of its educational value." The dial was restored when the building was refurbished. See "Sightings" in NASS Compendium Vol. 6 No. 4, Dec 1999.
 
 
Denver Colorado USA Horizontal Dial 371
The horizontal stone dial face is about 45 inches across, and is raised eight inches above ground level. It is inscribed with hours from IV to VIII. The dial was created about 1974 in memory of Persis McMurtrie Owen, who designed the west herb garden of the Botanic Gardens in 1964. See NASS Compendium Vol. 6 No. 2, June 1998
 
 
Denver Colorado USA Horizontal Dial 672
A cast bronze round horizontal dial with 4 AM to 7 PM hour lines and Roman numerals. The gnomon has an unusual curved root, making it appear to be misplaced to the south on the dial face when it appears to actually be correctly placed. Dial sits on a marble pedestal
 
 
Des Moines Iowa USA Horizontal Dial 106
This beautiful horizontal brass dial is 24 inches in diameter, cast onto a larger circle 28 inches in diameter. The dial has raised hour, half-hour, and 15-minute lines drawn in esthetic proportions from 5 am to 7pm. Roman numerals are on the outer rim. In the center to the left and right of the gnomon is a table for the Equation of Time in 15 day increments. The dial rests on four brass columns 20 inches high, which are mounted on a brass base 28 inches in diameter. The entire structure is centered on a concrete octagon 6 1/2 feet across.
 
 
Des Moines Iowa USA Analemmatic Dial 398
An analemmatic dial of cement with inlaid brass markings for the month. The visitor to the Science Center becomes the gnomon, standing on the appropriate month marker and then casting a shadow to the appointed hour.
 
 
Des Moines Iowa USA Horizontal Dial 483
A very large and striking horizontal dial 50 feet in diameter with a 15 foot tall metal gnomon. Hours are marked by bronze plaques and Roman numerals
 
 
Des Moines Iowa USA Horizontal Dial 484
Several horizontal dials. East dial is a small bronze dial, vandalized gnomon is missing; incorrect orientation. North dial is a 4 foot marble dial
 
 
Detroit Michigan USA Armillary Dial 88
A 6 foot diameter wrought iron armillary with equatorial and polar rings. Hour numerals are missing. Cast zodiacal signs are present in fair condition on exterior of equatorial ring. Dial is on a decaying brick circular pedestal at the center of a concrete and brick base. Rings are heavily marked with graffiti. The dial sits atop a brick and mortar pedestal in poor condition.
 
 
Dodge City Kansas USA Horizontal Dial 39
Two horizontal dials side by side, one for Central Standard Time and one for Mountain Standard Time. The CST dial shows hour lines for 7 AM to 7 PM, the MST dial shows 6 AM through 6 PM. Corrected for longitude. Each dial is approximately 13 meters in diameter. In front of the dials is a large concrete plaque with the equation of time and analemma. The analemma is represented as summer on top and late months (Feb, Jul) on right. This is not the way it would be viewed in the traditional series of photos nor is it the way a shadow would be traced. The width is exaggerated, presumably to allow a better reading of the minutes of time. The paint is peeling badly.
 
 
Dover Massachusetts USA Horizontal Dial 808
The horizontal dial is in the spiral shape of a Nautilus. The dial was originally built in the 1920's and located at Amelia Peabody's Sun House at 145 Powisset Stree in Dover, MA.
 
 
Dummerston Vermont USA Vertical Hours to Sunset Dial 366
This 4 x 8 foot vertical dial declines 8.4? west of south and displays "Italian Hours". Located on the southern gable of a hanger along a grass strip airport (fondly called the "Dummerston International"), the dial serves to tell pilots how many hours remain before sunset. The dial is painted board with vinyl lines, letters and numerals. A sign at the base explains how to read the dial. The dial was built by Mac Oglesby and Eliot Kimble. A smaller 2 x 2 foot vertical decliner is located on the western side of the hanger building as well. It too shows Italian hours.
 
 
Dundas Ontario Canada Point in Space Dial 697
A 38 inch diameter porcelain on steel vertical dial declining 14.73? west of east with a point-in-space or nodus gnomon using a 7/8-inch diameter brass ball nodus. Dial face shows Arabic hour numerals, solstice and equinox seasonal lines and a solar noon mark at 1:19:51 PM. Dial shows DST and is corrected for longitude but no EOT correction is provided. It is not know why the street was named Sundial Crescent but, living there, the owners wanted a sundial.
 
 
Durham North Carolina USA Sculpture Dial 356
"Gnomon", a large sculpture consisting of two monoliths made of steel-reinforced concrete slabs. Includes a noon indication.
 
 
East Hartland Connecticut USA Noon Marker Dial 429
This upright stone was originally a noon marker at Nathaniel Taggart's inn in colonial North Blandford, MA. The stone was moved by Taggart's granddaughter Polly Taggart Church to Harland, CT, where she lived following her marriage. In 1935 the stone was set up in the Hartland Cemetery, casting its noon day shadow onto a flat stone with an engraved meridian line.