Sundials - World's Oldest Clocks

North American Sundial Society

Providence  

Sundial 858
State/Province:  Rhode Island Country:  USA
Dial Type:  Vertical Condition:  Excellent
Latitude:   41° 49.550' N Longitude:   71° 24.150' W
Location:
  • The dial is on Wilson Hall located on the main green of the Brown University campus.

    The dial is high on the southwest ell on the Hall's south wall near the peak of the roof. It is about 40 feet above the ground.
 
Description:
  • The 3 x 4 foot vertical dial is set high in the ashlar sandstone wall of Wilson Hall, the original Physics Building. In the middle of the dial is the Brown University shield, holding the gnomon rod. Surrounding the shield are hour lines. In the original 1890 architect's drawing, the hour marks were Arabic numbers from 6am to 6pm, but as built, the numbers were engraved Roman numerals and set inside the hour lines. Half hour marks were added as well. No longitude offset is made such that the noon hour line is vertical.
 
General Information:Inscription:
  • Owner: Brown University
  • The shield has a scroll below it with the Brown University motto “In Deo Speramus” (“In God We Hope")
  • Designer: Gould and Angell, architects
  • Builder:
  • Construction Date: Wilson Hall with dial dedicated June 15, 1891
 
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Last Revised: 2017-04-06 17:03