Sundials - World's Oldest Clocks

North American Sundial Society

Sundials of North America

This is a complete listing of sundials in the North American Sundial Society Registry. Click on any dial thumbnail picture or city name to display our complete listing and images. To see sundials in a particular state or province, you may click on the list at left to see all registered sundials in that state, province or country (at bottom) displayed in city order.

 
 
Golden Colorado USA Reflective Equatorial Dial 855
This dial is one of Bill Gottesman's uniquely designed Renaissance dials of cast and structural bronze with a 27 inch diameter time telling helix whose axis is aligned to the celestial-north pole. Time is told by a focused beam of light from a long cylindrical unsilvered mirror situated on that N-S axis, reflecting sunlight into a slit of light onto the helix, telling time throughout the day. A sliding time scale within the helix is adjusted for longitude, date's equation of time correction and daylight saving time. Once this scale is adjusted for date, the dial shows civil (local clock) time with an accuracy of under one minute. The dial base is cast bronze that allows adjustment for latitude and is placed on a sandstone plinth.
 
 
Alburquerque New Mexico USA Horizontal Dial 854
This was a unique horizontal sundial designed for the Nob Hill Main Street program, where the sundial anchored the southeast corner of the Nob Hill Community Garden. Created several years ago by Mike Heighway and Mira Rose, Mike explained, "The purpose of the Nob Hill Sundial is to act as an interactive gardener’s guide. It works on an annual cycle by casting a shadow from a large center piece (the gnomon) onto a concrete plate with embedded steel [diurnal] bands and porcelain tiles that describe that month’s gardening activities." The dial itself was about 10 feet in diameter with an metal, rust-colored gnomon. The sundial is designed around the summer and winter solstice, since these are ultimately the times of year when the sun is either at its highest or lowest point in the noon sky. Each horizontal band connects to two tiles; one side for months approaching the summer solstice, and the other for months approaching the winter solstice. The tiles instruct people what monthly activities to do in the garden.
 
 
Nashville Tennessee USA Equatorial Dial 853
The equatorial dial made of aluminum operates on a unique principle. The equatorial time ring is allowed to rotate. Fixed to its co-rotating noon hour meridian ring is a plate with the analemma, extending +/- 23.5 deg from the equator. At top of the equatorial ring is a small hole allowing sunlight to make a spot on the analemma plate. The whole assembly is rotated until the sunlight spot falls on the analemma (with monthly marks to avoid ambiguity). One tells time using 5-minute time marks on the top of the equatorial ring read by one of two indicators either as central standard or daylight savings time.
 
 
Wilmington North Carolina USA Equatorial Dial 852
This is a bronze hemispherical equatorial sundial approximately 30 inches in diameter. The wide equatorial band is delineated every quarter hour and has cast Arabic numerals as hour markers from 6am to 6pm. The meridian band is inscribed with markers for the solstices and cross-quarter days.
 
 
New Orleans Louisiana USA Horizontal Dial 851
The concrete dial is 32 inches in diameter with simple hour lines without any further ornamentation. The foot high gnomon is a stainless steel wedge, tapering slightly from base to top. An interesting effect of looking at the sundial and gnomon: by moving your head, the hour lines reflected in the gnomon can line up with lines on the other side of the gnomon. The dial sits on a 3 foot high concrete pedestal.
 
 
Washington District of Columbia USA Horizontal Dial 850
This horizontal dial was commissioned by the District of Columbia Department of General Services for the newly renovated River Terrace Educational Campus. The mosaic dial is installed within a 20 ft diameter concrete plaza. The dial face is a beautifully colored spectrum of Italian Piccolo porcelain 1-inch mosaic tiles encompassing a circle 8 ft in diameter. Embedded in the mosaic chapter ring are 7-inch aluminum Arabic numbers marking the hours from 6am to 6pm and just within are letters marking the cardinal points. The aluminum gnomon is 4 ft. long and 2.83 ft tall.
 
 
Lucedale Mississippi USA Armillary Dial 849
The armillary is constructed of stainless steel with rings approximately 34 inches in diameter. The equatorial ring is a 3-inch band with 1-inch cast bronze Arabic hour numbers showing standard time and 1/2 inch cast bronze numbers for Daylight Saving Time. The other rings are unconventional. Rather than a horizontal ring, the ring is canted to match the latitude. The solstial ring that traditionally runs completely over the N-S vertical meridian is only 3/4 complete, creating an open area from the upper portion of the equatorial band to the southern pole that allows better viewing of the equatorial time ring when standing behind the armillary. The dial can be adjusted for the equation of time by rotating the equatorial ring to align on a plate with month marks set to the equation of time plus longitude offset, allowing the sundial to tell civil time.
 
 
St. Louis Missouri USA Horizontal Dial 848
The original sundial, made in 1841, was 14 inches in diameter and sat on a limestone pedestal 30 inches high. In early drawings from the late 1890's and later photos, the dial had a massive triangular gnomon. For years it served as the post chronometer.
 
 
St. Louis Missouri USA Horizontal Dial 847
The circular bronze dial has a massive triangular gnomon and is kept under a protective plastic dome. In R. McGuire's book, St. Louis Arsenal - Armory Of The West is a picture of the sundial for which the caption reads "On December 12, 1859, master armorer N. Engels, machinist A. Schaedel, and engraver W. Hawksley dedicated a sundial, which they had created entirely from spare ordnance materials. It was a scientifically precise instrument, measuring 17 inches in diameter, and was used for many years as the definitive chronometer of the arsenal. Engraved upon it was a poem entitled 'The Bird of Liberty,' reflecting the patriotic fervor of the day."
 
 
New Orleans Louisiana USA Horizontal Dial 846
Amidst the gardens in City Park is the Bacher Sundial, an 18-foot diameter pebbled concrete horizontal sundial set flush with the ground. The gnomon is well made, with curves nicely cut, edges straight, and the weld fillet is smooth and blends the upright with the base nicely. It is set on a low circular dais set considerably south of the center of the circular dial face. The gnomon is a simple iron blade 144 inches in length along the style edge. At the base, slots for anchoring the gnomon allow adjustment of 8-10 degrees to align to true north. Currently the gnomon sits near the center of the range, but can be pushed by hand to either end of the range. With loose nuts holding the gnomon, it appears canted at the base. Tightening the nuts could restore gnomon to its necessary 30 degree angle, but deterioration of the bolt anchors may prevent full tightening.
 
 
Nashotah Wisconsin USA Horizontal Dial 845
In a quite, shaded corner of the Nashotah House Theological Seminary is a copper alloy horizontal dial. The dial plate is a 10 inch square, 3/32 inches thick. The dial is engraved with several concentric circles with with large Roman hour marks on an outer ring from 5am to 7pm. Time is delineated in 5 minute increments on the outer circle, but includes an inner circle delineated in 15 minute increments. In the center of the dial is an 8-point compass rose with engraved directions. The quarter inch thick brass gnomon is a simple raised bar acting as style with an "S" shaped support.
 
 
Baltimore Maryland USA Analemmatic Dial 844
Volunteers painted a 16 x 5 foot analemmatic dial for the elementary and middle school students. The dial has 8-inch circles for hour numbers from 5am to 7pm using standard time. The dial walkway is painted with yellow month lines and abbreviations for each month to the side. The words "summer" and "winter" are at the solstice lines. Bailey points are painted as small yellow circles to indicate the direction of sunrise and sunset from the observer's position on the walkway.
 
 
Baltimore Maryland USA Analemmatic Dial 843
Volunteers painted a 16 x 5 foot analemmatic dial for the elementary and middle school students. The dial has 8-inch circles for hour numbers from 5am to 7pm using standard time. The dial walkway is painted with yellow month lines and abbreviations for each month to the side. The words "summer" and "winter" are at the solstice lines. Bailey points are painted as small yellow circles to indicate the direction of sunrise and sunset from the observer's position on the walkway.
 
 
Ocean Shores Washington USA Horizontal Dial 842
This large horizontal dial has a gnomon in the shape of an anchor and concrete minimalist dial surface in the shape of a triangle, keeping the theme of the location "Triangle Park". Three time Arabic hour numbers of 9, 12 and 3 are embedded into the concrete slab and two other time marks of 6am and 6pm are on separate pads located outside the main dial area.
 
 
Milwaukee Wisconsin USA Vertical Dial 841
This large vertical south facing sundial is fabricated from aluminum. Eight slender hour lines delineate the time. At the top of the hour lines along the winter solstice are acrylic numbers on the circular hour plates showing time from 10am to 5pm. At the bottom of the hour lines along the summer solstice are additional acrylic numbers showing daylight saving time from 11am to 6pm. A short horizontal bar shows the equinox.
 
 
Sheridan Wyoming USA Horizontal Dial 840
This monumental horizontal dial is 15 ft. in diameter sitting on a foundation of poured concrete and rebar. The dial face is etched on 4 large granite slabs from Canada. The gnomon is a 6-inch diameter steel pipe 97inches tall with a welded nodus ball and a triangular sheet beneath the gnomon that has a sun and the school logo (a mountain range) cut into it casting projected images onto the sundial face.
 
 
Twin Falls Idaho USA Analemmic Equatorial Dial 839
This beautiful stainless steel equatorial is approximately 1m in diameter with brass inlay for the equatorial time, divided down to the minute. This is also an analemmic sundial where the brass gnomon is cut out in the shape of an analemma allowing the user to directly correct for the equation of time. The analemma is marked with 365 individual date marks.
 
 
South Lee Massachusetts USA Vertical Dial 838
On the transom of a brown wood shingled and stone building that looks like it once was a church is a vertical south declining wooden sundial about 2 x 2 feet square. The sundial is painted red with a nicely cut wood gnomon. Hour lines and Roman numerals from VI to VI are chiseled into the wood, along with an inscription. The dial is framed in wood as well but the contrasting grey paint is flaking off.
 
 
Bloomfield Hills Michigan USA Horizontal Dial 837
In the Cranbrook Gardens, where works of art topiary and American crafts are displayed, one can find a brass horizontal dial transformed into a beautiful sculpture of a swan with the tail serving as the style, and the hour lines are the feathers of the wings. A small circle with Arabic numbers delineates the hours.
 
 
St. Louis Missouri USA Horizontal Dial 836
A horizontal sundial made on an octagonal brass plate, measuring 12 inches from side to side. The engraved hour lines are divided with marks for half, quarter and eighth parts of the hour. The hour numbers themselves are outward facing Roman numerals. The brass gnomon is bent slightly to the west by vandals. The pedestal is 37.5 inches tall with a 17 inch circular top cap of pink marble. Unfortunately the dial is located near a tree, so it is in shade for part of day.