Sundials - World's Oldest Clocks

North American Sundial Society

Selected Sundials of District of Columbia

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

 
 
Washington District of Columbia USA Armillary Dial 205
Very nicely armillary sphere about 3 ft. diameter, with equatorial, meridional and hour circles. Roman hour numerals from 5 AM to 7 PM. One of Washington DC's cleanest examples of a working armillary sphere. Erected by the Georgetown Garden Club in 1956 in tribute to Sarah Louisa Rittenhouse. Dial is placed atop a sandstone pillar.
 
 
Washington District of Columbia USA Vertical Dial 206
Sandstone Vertical declining dial, with gnomon offset to account for it. Above doors to rear terrace of admissions building. Arabic hour numerals with half hour lines. Carved hourglasses on both sides frame the dial. Brass compass rose set into the brick terrace below suggests the general alignment of both house and dial.
 
 
Washington District of Columbia USA Vertical Dial 207
Vertical bronze dial with Arabic numerals and long cast sunburst gnomon. On oblong sandstone. Dial is 60-80 feet up on an octagonal power plant smokestack. It is difficult to read, but safe from vandalism. School dated 1928. Similar to Eastern High School (#202).
 
 
Washington District of Columbia USA Horizontal Dial 208
Large, ground level horizontal dial 16 ft. in diameter with 49 in high stepped hollow painted-green metal gnomon that is 5 ft 16 in long. Roman hour numerals with hour lines from 4:30 AM to 9:30 PM. Gnomon structure recalls the much larger Indian observatory dials. An appropriate poetic passage, once bolted to the gnomon, has disappeared.
 
 
Washington District of Columbia USA Horizontal Dial 210
Circular horizontal dial 20 in. diameter cast in bronze. Has Roman numerals at hours and 15 minute marks. Gnomon missing from dial, but kept by groundskeeper, as it will not stay in place. Was temporarily re-installed for the NASS tour in 1995. The dial is modern, honoring George Donald Meid for service to the National Academy. Dial is mounted atop a concrerte cylindrical post.
 
 
Washington District of Columbia USA Horizontal Dial 218
Horizontal dial 12 in. square designed and built by David Shayt and David Todd of the Smithsonian Institution. Roman numerals, 5AM-7PM. Subdivided into 15 minute increments. Also has compass rose. Dial sits atop a rectangular granite pedestal.
 
 
Washington District of Columbia USA Analemma Dial 491
With a bit of whimsy at the end of each day for over two years, Dr. James Griffith marked the position of a ray of sunlight on a wall that entered from a west window overlooking the Potomac river. The result is an analemma, tracing the sun's position at 4:10 pm E.S.T. throughout the seasons. Dr. Griffith was a chemist, but as written on a plaque next to the analemma, "Exactly what this has to do with chemistry per se is not perfectly clear, but Viva Principia Scientifica!" Photos may be seen on Walt Sanford's web site.
 
 
Washington Crossing New Jersey USA Horizontal Dial 164
A 13-inch diameter horizontal dial made of iron. The dial has hour lines from 5am to 7pm, marked with Roman numerals. The gnomon is of unusual design. Set at 45 degrees, the style is supported by the profile of an eagle, head facing northward, and tail tapering to the southern point of the style. The base is a square pedestal, cobbled of stone and mortar. At top is a stone cut square to hold the dial.
 
 
Waterbury Connecticut USA Armillary Dial 757
A 24 inch diameter armillary with meridian, horizon, equatorial, tropic, Arctic and Antarctic rings. Equatorial ring is engraved with Roman hour numerals. The dial is supported on a narrow 4 foot tall granite pedestal. The pedestal includes a plaque with an EOT graph and is inscribed to indicate the dial is the Class Gift of 2010.
 
 
Watertown Connecticut USA Vertical Dial 32
Norman Bliss, who reported this dial, taught astronomy at Taft School for many years. He challenged students to find this abstract dial. The dial no longer exists and was destroyed when the building was demolished.
 
 
Watertown New York USA Vertical Dial 442
The vertical dial is on one face of a ornamental rectangular display raised on pole at the edge of the street at Key Bank Clock Plaza. The dial is approximately 2-foot square with an ornate gnomon having a "key" cutout. The dial was moved from another location to the present pole and restored. The dial is made of copper or bronze. Nearby is a plaque with the equation of time. Dedicated May 15, 1967.
 
 
Watkins Glen New York USA Horizontal Dial 517
A simple horizontal dial made of slate with a copper gnomon. Hour lines are brass rods artfully arranged from 6am to 6pm. The hour lines are corrected for longitude.
 
 
Waukesha Wisconsin USA Horizontal Dial 512
A large horizontal dial in a circular plaza made of tan concrete and red brick. The concrete gnomon stands about 16 feet tall. No hour lines are drawn on the plaza, but the hours are set in a circular ring at the edge of the plaza.
 
 
Weaton Illinois USA Horizontal Dial 589
Horizontal dial with 20 foot stainless steel gnomon. On the ground (dial face) are hour lines, analemma, date, and time before sunset. Built to commemorate DuPage County residents killed in military conflicts.
 
 
Webster Groves Missouri USA Horizontal Dial 898
This horizontal sundial is mounted on a hexagonal graceful concrete pedestal 43 inches high. The top of the pedestal is slightly sloping hexagonal 17 inches on a side. The circular bronze dial at the center is 11 inches in diameter. The hour lines meet a chapter ring with time marked in 15 minute intervals. Roman numerals mark the hours from 6am to 6pm. The 5 1/2 inch gnomon is of badly rusted steel, with iron stains covering the central part of the dial face. The sundial was vandalized at some time in the past and the original gnomon stolen.
 
 
Wellesley Massachusetts USA Horizontal Dial 431
A small 14x14 inch rose granite square dial with an unassuming 5 inch high brass gnomon sits upon a round white 3 foot high granite column. At the base is a larger granite block. Built about 1899.
 
 
Wendell Massachusetts USA Vertical Dial 688
A 15x5 foot hammer formed copper vertical dial declining 8? east of south with hour and half hour lines and Roman hour numerals. Gnomon is supported by dual braces. An EOT correction graph is provided and includes the inscription, "For every purpose there is a season" and acknowledgment to Friends of the Library and the Massachusetts Cultural Council.
 
 
West Des Moines Iowa USA Armillary Sphere Dial 485
Armillary sphere memorial, approximately 18 inches in diameter. Painted steel or bronze
 
 
West Des Moines Iowa USA Armillary Dial 486
Stainless steel armillary sphere, approximately 8 foot in diameter. No numbers. Slits for hour lines.
 
 
Westbury New York USA Polyhedral Dial 5
An old polyhedral dial set atop a tall stone column on the grounds of Old Westbury Gardens. Old Westbury Gardens is the former estate of John Shaffer Phipps, heir to a U.S. Steel fortune. Built in 1906, this garden is an example of period landscape design, with formal gardens and landscaped grounds on a 200 acre site. The gardens and mansion are open to the public but there is an admission fee. It is reported there are other sundials within the grounds.