Sundials - World's Oldest Clocks

North American Sundial Society

1997_Equatorial_LincolnParkZoo_ChicagoAbout 45 members of NASS attended the third annual conference in the windy city of Chicago. The Adler Planetarium hosted the conference and provided a tour of their fine collection of astrolabes and sundials.   Of particular interest was the special sundial exhibit prepared by Sara Schechner Genuth for the conferees in the History of Astronomy Department. NASS sessions started with John Shephed describing his design of a vertical declining sundial 56 feet wide.  Warren Thom talked about sundial computer aided design using several popular programs.  Fred Sawyer took the mathematical side and presented a new sundial, described as “Ptolemaic Coordinate Sundials” which he invented in response to a British Sundial Society challenge.  Download the PDF for full details.

Download this file (1997_NASSConference_Chicago.pdf)1997 NASS Conference Chicago[NASS Annual Conference]1450 kB

1996_Armillary_PhillipsSquareThe NASS conference was held at the University of Toronto, where a number of unique dials were presented, including Paul Lapp’s garden analemmatic dial, and Bill Buckler’s analemmatic gnomon on an equatorial dial. Sara Schechner Genuth presented a paper on historical dials as evidence of consumer culture and Don Petrie explained his model sundial used to teach gnomonics.   The dial tour included the Royal Botanic Gardens and the Michener Institute of Medical Technology.

Download this file (1996_NASSConference_Toronto_Ontario.pdf)1996 NASS Conference Toronto[NASS Annual Conference]3168 kB

1995_NationalCathedral_4aOur first NASS conference was held in Washington, D.C. with a small group of about a two dozen people meeting at The Smithsonian Institution on the mall.  The group one common interest: sundials.  During the conference, the group was able to visit a special display of dials and rare books on dialing in the Smithsonian collection.  Papers equinoctial clocks, analemmatic sundials and digital sundials were presented.  George McDowell organized a sundial tour of “Twelve Sundials of Washington” that included dials at the National Cathedral, Eastern High School, and an enigmatic sundial at Tudor Place.

Download this file (1995_NASSConference_WashingtonDC.pdf)1995 NASS Conference Washington DC[NASS Annual Conference]2249 kB