Sundials - World's Oldest Clocks

North American Sundial Society

Selected Sundials of North America

This is a selected listing of sundials in the North American Sundial Society Registry. Click on any dial thumbnail picture or city name to display the full dial description with additional information and images.

 

New York

 
Pittsford New York USA Vertical Dial 438
This old vertical north facing dial in on the Spring House, constructed circa 1822. The building was an old Erie Canal Inn. The dial is about 48 inches high by 30 inches wide, made of wood and painted with a white boarder. The gnomon is also white painted wood and "looks upside down" because the dial faces north. The dial and gnomon have been repainted several times.
 
 
Plymouth Massachusetts USA Horizontal Dial 342
approx. 8 feet in diameter Roman numerals, with half-hour marks and compass rose. Dial sits on a rectangular stone pedestal.
 
 
Pocatello Idaho USA Vertical Dial 742
A south-facing vertical dial split into two sculptures separated by a walking path. The dial faces are vertical powder coated steel sculptures with cut hour lines. The gnomons are travertine limestone blocks with the top edges pointing to celestial north. The edges of the gnomon stones cast the shadow onto the vertical dial faces. One dial face shows the morning hours, the other shows the afternoon hours. The gnomon styles extend to both sides of each dial face allowing extended time and season use. This sculpture, "PASSAGE OF TIME," was commissioned by the City of Pocatello to represent Pocatello as the "Gate City," historically known as the gateway to the Snake River Plains. The meandering sidewalk path represents passage through both time and space.
 
 
Pomfret Connecticut USA Pillar Dial 84
A 22 ft. high stone pillar dial built by William Ross Carpenter as a replica of the famous Charles Turnbull dial of Corpus Christi College in England dating from 1577. The pillar has multiple dials of various types. The Carpenter replica built in 1912 was restored in 1987. Ornate dial furniture with multiple inscriptions. A complex masterpiece. See the NASS Compendium Vol. 2 No. 1 for more details.
 
 
Port Arthur Texas USA Polar Equatorial Dial 446
A large Erickson Monument polar equatorial dial of light colored granite, approximately 6 feet in diameter and 6 inches thick. The gnomon shaft is steel, extending from the ground through the dial plate and outward another two feet. The base is a simple tier of raised concrete. 24 hours are inscribed on each side of the dial (summer and winter) as radiating lines with Arabic numbers at the end. Time is graduated by half-hour and 5 minute marks. Two equation of time graphs, each about 3 x 6 feet engraved in granite, are set at the north and south ends of the dial, providing corrections from Apr-Sep, and Oct-Mar. [An interesting note about the engraving for the Apr-Sep graph: The line originally said "For daylight savings time, subtract one hour", the word "subtract" was filled in and "you add" was inscribed over it.] In the top quadrant of the dial (both obverse and reverse) where the sun's shadow will never cast, are the names of cities in 16 different Time Zones. A beautiful and well-crafted sundial, it makes a fitting Seaman's Memorial. Compare this dial with other Erickson dials
 
 
Port Richmond, Staten Island New York USA Vertical Dial 142
17' H x 11' W x 8' D Painted steel with stainless steel wire cloth Noon mark and analemma features made of concrete and brass.
 
 
Portland Maine USA Horizontal Dial 818
A large 1m (3-foot) bronze sundial is set on a low granite dais at the center of a white granite ellipse. Surrounding the sundial are three white granite benches, the center declaring this as a memorial to Mayor James Baxter. The hour ring gives the hours from V in the morning to VII in the evening The ring is further divided into 15 minute increments. The dial has a large 24-point star and on the south end of the dial face the words "Baxter Boulevard". The artful gnomon is about 1-inch thick. Unfortunately the monument setting is heavily wooded and little sunlight reaches this fine dial.
 
 
Portland Maine USA Equatorial Dial 831
Prominent in the cemetery is a large equatorial sundial about 4 ft in diameter. The dial was custom built for the location latitude and longitude. It is made of cast, anodized aluminum. The equatorial ring is 8-inch side arc with Roman numeral hours from VI to VI (6am to 6pm) with marks at 5 minute intervals. The scale is shifted to correct for longitude. The gnomon is an elegant arrow. It sits on a 4 ft plinth made of river stone, capped with a circular 6 inch block of polished granite.
 
 
Portland Oregon USA Vertical Dial 660
A 4 x 2.5 foot south-facing vertical dial of mosaic tile whose hour lines include longitude correction.
 
 
Portland Oregon USA Vertical Dial 662
A classic stone 20 x30 inch south facing vertical dial with bronze gnomon on brick building above sally port about 30 feet above grade. Hour lines with Roman numerals are corrected for longitude. Flanking the sally port are carved figures of Lux, or light, with open eyes on the east and Nox, or night, closing its eyes for sleep on the west. Reed College is a west coast "Ivy League" college following the Collegiate Gothic traditions of Oxford, Cambridge and the eastern US colleges.
 
 
Portland Connecticut USA Horizontal Dial 426
An 18x18 inch square horizontal sundial with ornate engraving. Along the edge are Roman numerals telling the hours. The gnomon is equally ornate. Both dial plate and gnomon are made of brass. Dial sits on a tapered granite pedestal with a square granite cap.
 
 
Portsmouth New Hampshire USA Horizontal Dial 130
Octagonal, approx 6 in. on a side Brass/Bronze Center compass rose, 4AM-8PM in Roman numerals. Standard stone pedestal. Probably not the original, as it is oversize for the dial plate.
 
 
Poughkeepsie New York USA Horizontal Dial 412
Small horizontal brass dial, about 12 inches in diameter with classical design. Roman numerals for hours with dots for quarter and half hours. Sits on fluted column about 3 foot high. Beautifully set in the Shakespeare Garden.
 
 
Poughkeepsie New York USA Armillary Dial 165
Built by Kenneth Lynch & Sons, Wilton CT
 
 
Prescott Arizona USA Vertical Dial 585
An 18x20 inch cast bronze vertical dial declining 22? west of south on the wall of a private home. Dial face includes a stylized sun and outline of Thumb Butte, a prominent local landmark. Dial can be viewed by first contacting the owner.
 
 
Princeton New Jersey USA Vertical Dial 590
Circular vertical dial about 10 foot diameter on stone wall with bronze gnomon and substyle. Dial declines 23° east of south. Hour lines every half hour. Arabic hour numerals with 12 Zodiacal signs.
 
 
Princeton New Jersey USA Vertical Dial 591
White marble 5x5 foot vertical dial declines 23° E with metal gnomon. Sits atop 12 foot cement pillar. Hour lines with Roman numerals are shown for every hour from 6 AM to 3 PM. North side of dial face depicts a tiger; donators Lee & Margaret Butler are named below with date 1983.
 
 
Princeton New Jersey USA Pillar Dial 339
A 22 ft high stone pillar dial, given by Sir William Mather, governor of Victoria University, Manchester, England, in 1907. It is a reproduction of the famous Turnbull dial of Corpus Christi College in England. This replica is the same as the one at Pomfret School, in CT. (#84). It was unveiled by Woodrow Wilson in 1907.
 
 
Providence Rhode Island USA Vertical Dial 857
The vertical dial is a metal frame approximately 4 x 5 feet set high on a brick wall. Within the frame are metal hour lines from 6am to 5pm marked by Roman numerals. The hour lines are adjusted for the dial's longitude to show time for the 75th meridian. Metal lines for the solstices and equinox are set for the shadow of a small spherical nodus on the gnomon rod. The gnomon itself is anchored to a bronze plate stylized as the Sun.
 
 
Providence Rhode Island USA Vertical Dial 858
The 3 x 4 foot vertical dial is set high in the ashlar sandstone wall of Wilson Hall, the original Physics Building. In the middle of the dial is the Brown University shield, holding the gnomon rod. Surrounding the shield are hour lines. In the original 1890 architect's drawing, the hour marks were Arabic numbers from 6am to 6pm, but as built, the numbers were engraved Roman numerals and set inside the hour lines. Half hour marks were added as well. No longitude offset is made such that the noon hour line is vertical.