Sundials - World's Oldest Clocks

North American Sundial Society

Ithaca  

Sundial 99
State/Province:  New York Country:  USA
Dial Type:  Equatorial Condition:  Excellent
Latitude:   42° 26.692' N Longitude:   76° 29.016'W
Location:
  • Cornell University - just south of Campus Road, located outside the Engineering Department in the Engineering Quad
 
Description:
  • This 650 pound equatorial has an adjustment This setup enables the instrument to read clock time. making this a very precise instrument. The gearing rusted in 1980 and was refurbished: "The heart of the sundial's functionality, a roundish steel disc called a cam, was also replaced with a stainless steel, slightly better-functioning one, connected to an hour and minute scale by small, stainless steel cables via a pair of precisely designed pulleys." Thus the mechanical adjustment compensates the sun's irregular motion called the Equation of Time and shows civil not solar time.

    Dale R. Corson, physicist and engineer, and eighth president of Cornell University, built the sundial in 1980. He shares credit for its intricate design with Professor Emeritus Richard Phelan, who created the mechanism in its base that allows it to read clock time.

    "This is my legacy to Cornell," Corson said. He shares that legacy with Phelan, Corson added, and now with Bowman, who [in 1980] made the new parts.

 
General Information:Inscription:
  • Owner: Cornell University
  • Inscription on the dial base:
    "The Joseph N. Pew, Jr. Sundial
    Designed and Erected
    In Memory to Hist Loyalty to
    Engineering at Cornell"
  • Designer: Dale R. Corson
  • Builder: Richard Phelan (maker of the EOT adjustment cam)
  • Construction Date: 1980 refurbished 2006
 

Last Revised: 2017-08-24 20:21