Sundials - World's Oldest Clocks

North American Sundial Society

Providence  

Sundial 857
State/Province:  Rhode Island Country:  USA
Dial Type:  Vertical Condition:  Excellent
Latitude:   41° 49.600' N Longitude:   71° 24.167' W
Location:
  • The dial is at Faunce Hall on the main green of the Brown University campus. It is on the south wall of the building above a sunken courtyard. There is a balcony on the wall from which the dial may be viewed up close.
 
Description:
  • The vertical dial is a metal frame approximately 4 x 5 feet set high on a brick wall. Within the frame are metal hour lines from 6am to 5pm marked by Roman numerals. The hour lines are adjusted for the dial's longitude to show time for the 75th meridian. Metal lines for the solstices and equinox are set for the shadow of a small spherical nodus on the gnomon rod. The gnomon itself is anchored to a bronze plate stylized as the Sun.

    The dial was designed by Albert Harkness from drawings by Donald S. Reed. The astronomical calculations were made by Prof. Charles H. Smiley, director of the Ladd Observatory. The dial was a gift of the Beta Chapter of the Delta Phi Fraternity in 1938 to mark the Brown University chapter's centennial.
 
General Information:Inscription:
  • Owner: Brown University
  • A scroll above the dial bears the symbols of the major planets, from left to right: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto.

    Below the dial are the centennial dates of the Delta Phi Fraternity: "1838- 1938"
  • Designer: Charles H. Smiley, Donald S. Reed, and Albert Harkness
  • Builder:
  • Construction Date: 1938
 
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Last Revised: 2017-04-06 18:02