Sundials - World's Oldest Clocks

North American Sundial Society

Selected Sundials of Wisconsin

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

 
 
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 Armillary Dial 401
A large stainless steel armillary dial approximately 10 feet in diameter. The equator and sunrise/sunset meridian bands are about 6 inches wide, with other bands about 3 inches wide. The central gnomon is a stainless steel rod with an open shaped arrow point and tail. The hours on the equatorial ring are raised bronze roman numerals with 15-minute intervals marked by bronze dots. The time marks are set for daylight saving time, with sunset at VII. Marks continue to VIII
 
 
Rocklin California USA Vertical Dial 238
Small, circular 12.5 in. vertical dial mounted 56 in. above ground on the south wall of the library. Dial is aluminum mounted on concrete. Hour line missing from 6AM to gnomon base. Wall faces 26 degrees SW. Hour lines, numbered only at 6, 9, 12, 3 and 6. Two memorial plaques adjacent to dial. One reads 'Sierra College Honors/ E. R. 'Russ' Fallon/ for Dedicated Services/ Building Inspector/ Building and Grounds Supervisor/ 1959-1975'. Other reads 'In Admiration and Fond Memory/ of Our Colleague/ Dwight Hall/ 1927-1972/ by the/ Academic Senate and Friends/ at Sierra College.'
 
 
Rockville Maryland USA Horizontal Dial 823
A simple stainless steel gnomon 5-inches in diameter sits on a 6-foot concrete dais. Surrounding the dais are brick pavers with two circular bands of granite pavers. The interior band is for daylight saving time hours of engraved numbers filled with a gold color and a similar outer band for standard time hours. The granite pavers also mark the cardinal points engraved in gold, and extended as east-west and north-south lines from the dais. What makes this dial both unique and beautiful is the low brick and concrete surrounding walls with inscriptions from famous authors on both the interior and exterior faces.
 
 
Rolla Missouri USA Stonehenge Dial 301
Stonehenge-like half-scale model. 5 trilithons. A south-facing trilithon carries a pierced brass plate which projects a spot of sunlight on a folded analemma pattern. Stone.
 
 
Roswell New Mexico USA Horizontal Dial 490
A beautiful bronze sundial sits on a pillar of rough marble. It was given to the Library by the Roswell Womens Club at the turn of the 20th century. Unfortunately the dial is damaged, but the Roswell Womans Club is searching for someone to repair the dial.
 
 
Round Lake Beach Illinois USA Horizontal Dial 802
This is an octagonal-shaped horizontal dial 240 mm (9.5 inches)across. The photo-etched plate has a central compass rose and delineated with a half hour circle and second circle dividing the time into quarter-hour increments. Roman numerals mark the hours from 6am to 6pm, with an extra hour mark to extend the dial's time-telling from 5am to 7pm. The dial is adjusted for the longitude of the site. Atop the dial face is a sturdy filigree gnomon approximately 5mm wide and 90mm (3.5 inches) high. South of the gnomon is a graphic Equation of Time.
 
 
Saanich British Columbia Canada Horizontal Dial 935
The dial is simply but pleasingly decorated. The gnomon is plain. The pedestal is carved from stone taken from ruins of the Basilica of Ste. Anne de Beaupre in Quebec. The Quebec connection is indicated by the use of a Fleur De Lys on the dial face, and Napier's Scottish heritage is referenced by thistle motifs on brass accoutrements fitted to the pedestal.
 
 
Saanichton British Columbia Canada Horizontal Dial 936
A simple horizontal bronze sundial about 9 inches in diameter. A sun occupies the interior of the dial with hour lines extending to a chapter ring with Roman numerals marking the hours. Each hour is divided into eight parts along the outer edge of the dial. The dial sits on a square plinth with corresponding square stepped base.
 
 
Sacramento Peak New Mexico USA Armillary Sphere Dial 317
The bronze armillary sphere is 5-foot in diameter. The dial reads time and date from a rod gnomon cast onto an engraved, equatorial band. The dial shows date bands and solar time corrected for longitude (3 min 17s west of the 105 degree meridian). The dial is accurate to about one minute. At the noon hour line is an analemma showing the correction to mean time. The armillary sphere was designed and built by observatory staff members Dr. Don Neidig, Scott Gregory, and Mitchell Davis.
 
 
Sahuarita Arizona USA Azimuth Dial 623
An unusual dial by John Carmichael using a "Point in Space" gnomon; only the shadow cast by the tip of the 6 inch angled rod gnomon is used to indicate time. The dial face is poured concrete with inlayed metal longitude-corrected hour lines, and is nearly horizontal, inclining just 1.27 degrees for water drainage. It declines 89.28 degrees east of south. Bronze plaque has User Instructions and an Equation of Time Graph. Dial functions best during the middle part of the day. The style shadow lies outside of the dial face boundaries in the early mornings and late afternoons. The massive elaborate base that supports the gnomon rod is made from stacked flagstone. A waterfall cascades from the back south side of the base and flows a long distance to the south through a canal that has several water fountains and pools along the way. Around the base is a planter with bedding plants. The base and gnomon are lighted at night.
 
 
Saint Anthony Newfoundland Canada Equatorial Dial 169
A Pilkington & Gibbs Heliochronometer, 9 in. diameter, 9 in. high bronze with two sights, 3 x 1.5 in. Points of compass on dial base, months and dates on face. Rotates to compensate for EOT. Dial is a circular plate, mounted to allow adjustment for latitude. Gnomon consists of two cast posts with vertical slits, about 6 in. high, on opposite sides of plate. Another adjustable scale permits EOT corrections. It was part of original house from 1909-1939. Not dated, but the chronometers were sold between 1907-1914. Now on display in museum and not set up for use. Heavily patinated with some corrosion. Fabricated by Pilkington & Gibbs Ltd, Preston England, # 433. The dial is mounted to a solid Labradorite pillar, 1 foot square, 21 inch high.
 
 
Saint John New Brunswick Canada Horizontal Dial 743
A large horizontal dial whose cast metal gnomon is a sculpture commemorating the Canadian National Day of Mourning. The gnomon is supported by statues representing toiling laborers. The surrounding brick courtyard includes bricks marked with Roman hour numerals. The dial sculpture is identified as the Day of Mourning Monument and was dedicated on the Canadian National Day of Mourning, April 28, honoring those workers in Canada who have been killed, injured or disabled on the job.
 
 
Salem Massachusetts USA Collection Dial 124
 
 
Salem Massachusetts USA Horizontal Dial 131
Approx. 10 inch diameter cast bronze horizontal dial. Inner ring has zodiac signs, middle ring has cherubs, leaves and a crown, and outer ring has hours 4AM-8PM in Roman numerals but no hour lines. The 6AM and 6PM lines are opposite each other but their hour lines do not pass through the root of the gnomon. It is believed the dial was installed about 1910 by then owner Caroline Emmerton. The dial was moved in 2007 to a less sunny location to make room for a seaman's memorial sculpture. The dial pedestal is traditionally decorated stone with circular top
 
 
Salem Oregon USA Horizontal Dial 708
A 14 inch square California granite horizontal dial with a bronze gnomon with hour and half-hour marks and Roman numerals showing PST. Dial face is engraved with the Class Year 1916 and the motto Audacity, Sagacity, Holiness and Charity. The gnomon may have been replaced since originally installed. The dial is atop a gray granite pedestal integral to the dial itself. The June 8, 1916 Collegian university newspaper provided this: "In presenting the sundial to the university, Walter Gleiser, president of the class, gave a forceful speech in which he portrayed the never-failing accuracy of the instrument's function, believing that it would be of use to the community, and that it should symbolize the good that students of Willamette should be to the world."
 
 
Saline Michigan USA Vertical Dial 631
A north-facing vertical dial of wood approximately 30 inches square with steel gnomon. Gnomon support includes "M M" representing 2000 millennium. Dial face includes script "RJ" for owner's initials as well as additional "M M" symbology. Hour markings show Eastern Standard Summer Time. Dial is displayed during summer months only, during which time it can be seen from the street. Dial is on private property but can seen from a public street.