Sundials - World's Oldest Clocks

North American Sundial Society

St. Louis  

Sundial 848
State/Province:  Missouri Country:  USA
Dial Type:  Horizontal Condition:  Excellent
Latitude:   38° 30.738' N Longitude:   90° 16.776' W
Location:
  • The sundial is at Jefferson Barracks Park Entrance is off Jefferson Barracks Road. The dial is at the rear of the Admin Building on the east end of the parade ground.

    Access to the base is restricted. Contact the JB Historian 314-527-8369 for access.
 
Description:
  • 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.

    Shortly after WWII, Jefferson Barracks was opened to the public. Around 1946, the original sundial was stolen, but the pedestal and a surrounding iron fence were left intact. A replacement dial was made at the Arsenal of St. Louis 10 miles north of JB and installed on the original pedestal. That dial still sits on the pedestal overlooking the Mississippi River.

    The replaced bronze dial is also about 14 inches in diameter, but has a graceful gnomon with foot at the dial center. At the edge are Roman hour numbers 6am to 6pm and a chapter ring with time marks to the quarter hour. The marks extend 5am to 5pm. At the south point of the dial is an hour glass with wings.
 
General Information:Inscription:
  • Owner: U.S. Department of Defense
  • JEFFERSON BARRACKS
  • Designer:
  • Builder: St. Louis Arsenal (both original and replacement)
  • Construction Date: Original 1841 Replacement 1946
 
References:
  • M. E. Kollbaum, Gateway to the West: The History of Jefferson Barracks from 1826 to 1894, published by the Friends of Jefferson Barracks, 533 Grant Road, St. Louis, MO 63125-4121.
 
Attachments Available:

Last Revised: 2016-11-28 22:05