Sundials - World's Oldest Clocks

North American Sundial Society

Vancouver  

Sundial: 931
State/Province:  British Columbia Country:  Canada
Dial Type:  Equatorial Condition:  Excellent
  Latitude:   49° 14.333' N Longitude: 123° 7.850' W
Location:
  • In the Rose Garden of VanDusen Gardens, 5251 Oak Street, Vancouver. Admission fees apply. The parking lot is on 33rd Avenue, just west of Oak Street. Bus route #17.
 
Description:
  • A simple but elegant and well-executed bronze equatorial dial by renowned local sculptor Gerhard Class. It is about 24-inches in diameter and is mounted on a 16 x 16 x 36-inch plinth of nephrite jade, damaged at one corner. The gnomon has a central slit and can be rotated about the polar axis to create a narrow beam of light for precise reading of the sun's position. The dial shows local solar time plus one hour, corresponding to Daylight Saving Time. The dial's construction is technically perfect but, sadly, the dial appears to be misaligned with the gnomon axis pointing 7 deg west of north.

    As a piece of sculpture, it displays a whimsical asymmetry with the morning and afternoon arms being of slightly different lengths and with a slightly oval appearance to the equatorial element; the morning arm is marked out with only 4 hours whereas the afternoon arm is marked out with 7 hours. This arrangement just spans the Garden's summer open hours.
 
General Information:
  • Owner: City of Vancouver (Vancouver Parks Board)
  • Designer: Gerhard Class
  • Builder: Gerhard Class
  • Construction Date: 1975 or 1976
 
References:
  • Gerhard Class designed a similar dial at English Bay Beach in 1967. (NASS Registry #645)

Last Revised: 2018-10-11 00:07