Sundials - World's Oldest Clocks

North American Sundial Society

Selected Sundials of Illinois

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Quincy Illinois USA Analemmatic Dial 784
A 10 foot x 18 foot analemmatic dial built of Keystone Blue granite from the quarry in Elberton, Georgia. Hour markers for 7 AM to 5 PM show Arabic numerals and identify the organizations donating to fund the dial. Each hour marker depicts the morphology of a leaf from a tree located in the nearby arboretum. The hour markers are 15 inches in diameter and 6 inches thick, weigh 102 pounds each and are placed flush with the soil to reduce potential for vandalism.
Raleigh North Carolina USA Horizontal Dial 864
Known as the Primrose Sundial, the bronze dial plate is a little more than a foot in diameter and sits on a small stone pillar about four feet high. The dial has simple hour lines from 4am to 8pm marked on the hour in Roman numerals. The open bronze gnomon is about 1/2 inch thick, held by both tenon and two large screws.
Randolph City Vermont USA Armillary Dial 266
10 foot Cor-ten steel, concrete Entitled: Armillary VII. Contains an ecliptic ring, an equatorial ring and a gnomon ring. Engraved with the signs of the zodiac.
Redding California USA Horizontal Dial 518
When is a bridge not a bridge? When it's almost a sundial. The 217 foot high suspension span called Sundial Bridge wants to be a sundial, and has come very close. The suspension pylon is aligned true north, but unfortunately performs as an inaccurate gnomon with an inclination of 49 deg (for bridge functionality) rather than for the 40.6 deg latitude of the site. The bridge is 700 feet long and weighs 1,600 tons. Funding for the bridge comes from the McConnell Foundation, Redding Redevelopment Agency, Federal Highway Administration, and Turtle Bay Exploration Park
Redlands California USA Equatorial Dial 293
Equatorial dial designed by Russ Busher. A semicircle of metal, pierced with numerals. Sun shines through numerals onto metal plate with vertical line mounted below. Semicircle in equatorial plane, plate in polar plane. Such a dial is frequently advertized in "Wind and Weather" catalog. Placed atop a wooden post.
Redlands California USA Vertical Dial 658
A 60x40 foot vertical dial of stucco, wood and brass, filling the south exterior wall of the building. Roman hour numerals show PST; Arabic hour numerals show PDT. Summer and winter solstice and the equinox lines are shown; the shadow of a nodus on the gnomon indicates the date. Dr. Nordgren explains that the shadow of the 10-inch diameter nodus "is just the right size to take into account periods when sundials are fast or slow relative to clock time. When dials run their slowest, the leading edge of the nodus shadow gives the accurate time. During periods when dials run their fastest the trailing edge gives the accurate time." Dr. Nordgren was among the seven designers of the sundials used on the NASA Mars Rovers in 2004.
Regina Saskatchewan Canada Vertical Dial 878
This vertical dial is mounted directly onto the stucco wall of the house. The gnomon is a triangle of aluminum cut from 3/16 inch sheet, with a 2-inch hole as a breather to relieve stress from cross winds. More interesting are the hour lines, made of a double strand of heavy copper wire, with each extending from winter to summer solstice, held with pegs (from Canadian Tire). A middle peg shows the equinox as well. Hour lines extend from 7am to 6pm, shown in simple Arabic numbers. The sundial is operational in clear weather from 8:30am - 6pm through all seasons.
Rehoboth Beach Delaware USA Horizontal Dial 321
A bronze horizontal dial about 18 inches in diameter. The sundial was designed by Col. W.S. Corkran in 1930 and placed in the Homestead House garden, a 3 1/2 acre site maintained by the Rehoboth Art League since 1938. Col. Corkran died in 1962. The sundial was restored in 1999, set atop a capstan from an old sailing ship. Since 1999 the salt air has continued to deteriorate the plaques and gnomon. The dial face is still quite readable, with Arabic hours from 6am to 6pm delineated in 5 minute intervals. Symbols of the zodiac decorate the dial in a circular arc.
Renton Washington USA Horizontal Dial 524
A 44 x 60 foot horizontal dial with 20 foot tall stainless steel gnomon. This may be the largest horizontal dial in the state of Washington. Five colors of concrete define distinct parts of the dial and pathways (the 8 o?clock and 5 o?clock hour lines are walkways between buildings). Other hour lines have concrete benches and stainless steel discs to mark each hour, plus inlaid bronze discs for daylight saving time. Hour lines have inset disks to indicate the hour, one disk for each counted hour 6 AM to 7 PM. The mid-day N-S hour line features thirteen hour disks; the previous hour has 12 disks and the next hour is marked with two disks. The N-S hour line may include one disk that is also a light to illuminate the gnomon at night.
Reston Virginia USA Analemmatic Dial 773
An analemmatic dial with 8 foot semimajor axis painted on the asphalt playground of the Neil Armstrong Elementary School. Hour marks for 5 AM to 7 PM include longitude correction; Arabic hour numerals for both standard and daylight saving time are shown. The date line is decorated in bright colors with icons symbolic of holidays and seasonal weather. The dial was the Boy Scout Eagle Service Project of William T. Spriggs and was painted by local Boy Scouts and their fathers.
Reston Virginia USA Horizontal Dial 369
A modernistic seven foot diameter flagstone horizontal dial with hour lines. The design features a gnomon of folded stainless steel plate. Gnomon is truncated too short for shadow to reach edge of dial face. See "Sightings" in NASS Compendium Vol. 6 No. 4, Dec 1999.
Richmond Virginia USA Vertical Dial 635
An 87 x 37 inch vertical stained glass sundial in a second story window on the south wall of a tower at Richmond Hill, a historic monastery in Richmond. The glass area of the dial is frosted with hour lines and numerals read from the inside. Richmond Hill is open to the public Tuesday through Sunday; visitors are welcome to view the sundial, which is located in a tower accessible from the main lobby entrance.
Richmond Virginia USA Gnomonic Dial 173
'Built in 1981 after an article in Scientific American (Dec 1980 "The Amateur Scientist") described a computer program for building a gnomonic dial with analemma hour lines. The dial was painted on the museum's parking lot, using a ball atop a 25 ft aluminum flagpole as the nodus. Semi-annual analemmas were painted in different colors, allowing correction for the equation of time. The dial was refurbished June 1992.
Ridgecrest California USA Analemmatic Dial 679
A 20x15 foot axis analemmatic dial built of cement hour posts, metal markers and tile and lava rock on the high desert floor outside the museum building.
Ridgeland Mississippi USA Vertical Dial 886
This is a small 7 x 10 inch vertical dial declining due south. It is made from wood with hour lines, half hour lines, and Roman numerals engraved using a wood burning tool. The simple gnomon is 1/8 inch steel.
River Falls Wisconsin USA Vertical Dial 185
The inspiration for this sundial, at one time the largest vertical dial in the world, came from Dr. Swensen visiting Heidelberg castle that had a large vertical dial on the wall of the castle. Construction of the Univ. of Wisconsin dial began in 1994 on the south wall of the Kleinpell Fine Arts Building. The result is a 30 x 56 foot vertical dial of anodized aluminum with analemmic hour markers, and day lines to mark winter and summer solstice, Candelmas (1/31), Martinmas (11/10), Beltane (5/8) and Lammas (8/4), vernal and autumnal equinoxes. The massive south-facing vertical dial takes up the entire wall of the three-story fine arts building. The hour markers are gold on the 'Spring' side and brown on the 'Fall' side with 7 day intervals marked on each.
Riverside California USA Equatorial Dial 18
An equatorial dial 47 inches in diameter made of stainless steel. It sits upon four sleek pillars setting on a concrete rise. The gnomon rod has a round disk with a hole to act as a nodus. The dial equatorial band has solstice and equinox lines, as well as a line showing the declination of the sun marked with by months and zodiac signs. Hour lines are marked by raised stainless steel Roman Numerals. Dial is corrected to Pacific Standard Time.
Rochester New York USA Equatorial Dial 60
A large 40 foot equatorial dial. The dial band is about 5 feet wide with raised Roman numerals at each hour mark. The gnomon is a rod approximately 15 feet long, ingeniously suspended by wires at the center of the dial. No shadow of the support wires can be seen, just the line of the gnomon appears on the dial band.
Rock Island Illinois USA Horizontal Dial 632
A horizontal dial approximately 30 inches diameter reportedly cast from an old brass (bronze, likely) cannon and weighing 175 pounds. Dial was weathered and damaged by vandals but restored in 1970 using black light to reveal the original engraved markings, which were re-engraved. Access may require admission to arsenal.
Rockford Illinois USA Collection Dial 123
Time Museum collection of dials