Sundials - World's Oldest Clocks

North American Sundial Society


Join NASS and Receive Quarterly Issues of The Compendium

Annual membership in the North American Sundial Society includes four issues of The Compendium, available in print, CD-R discs, or down-loadable digital editions. Since June 2010, the print edition comes in full color, while the CD-R and digital editions not only come in digital color, but from time to time offer software features and other material of interest to computer users. The Digital Compendium is available on a CD-R via postal mail or by download. It is published in PDF and requires the Adobe Reader® to read. NASS membership and subscription can be made for one or two years.

How did you find out about the North American Sundial Society? Whether you join using the attached pdf registration form or register via the Pay Pal links below, please let our Vice President This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. know how you found us.

We are simplifying the NASS membership options:

  • You may send a check in US Dollars, made payable to NASS through a US Bank. Alternatively you may use Pay Pal to subscribe using credit card. Please note that there are two sets of rates: (1) for those living in North America, and (2) for those living anywhere else in the world. If paying by check, include your subscription option, address and email address to:

    Fredrick W. Sawyer III
    27 Ninas Way - Hampton Run
    Manchester CT 06040-6388, USA

  • We have made special arrangements for those living in the United Kingdom to pay checks in GB Pounds. Alternatively you may use Pay Pal to subscribe using credit card. If paying by check, include your subscription option, address and email address to:

    Graham Aldred
    4 Sheardall Avenue, Disley
    Stockport SK12 2DE, UK

Your may click on the Pay Pal options below or you may download a PDF subscription form. If you choose the PDF subscription form, fill it out and mail in it with a check to Fredrick W. Sawyer III. The PDF is attached at the bottom of this page.

Read more: Here's How to Get The Compendium

Strode1688NewAndEasieMethodThomas Strode- A NEW AND EASIE METHOD TO THE ART OF DYALLING.

CONTAINING I. All Horizontal Dyals, all Upright Dyals, Reflecting Dyals, Dyals without Centres, Nocturnal Dyals, Upright Declining Dyals, without knowing the Declination of the Plane. II. The most Natural and Easie Way of Describing the Curve-Lines of the Suns Declination on any Plane. The like never before Published. By Thomas Strode, Esq; of Maperton in the County of Somerset. LONDON. Printed, by H.C. for J. Taylor, at the Ship, and T. Newborough, at the Ball, in St. Paul's Church-Yard, MDCLXXXVIII. 1688.  (72 pages)

"To The Reader. Courteous Reader, This was chiefly composed for some near Relations; but the Method being Natural, Easie, and not Common, I think I ought to communicate, and not to Bury it with me. I do not Publish this as to prefer it before Trigonometrical Calculation of Dyals, for no way can be Exacter than that; but this is to save that Labour in Young Beginners, lest they should be dejected with the tediousness of the other: And this Discourse but little short in Exactness with that...

Read more: Volume V. New & Easie Method to The Art of Dyalling 1688

Sturmy1679ArtOfDiallingSamuel Sturmy, The Art Of Dialling By The Gnomical Scale (1679). This is the seventh book from Sturmy's very popular The Mariners Magazine. The work originally appeared in 1669, and subsequently went through 3 more editions, “diligently revised and carefully corrected” by mathematician John Colson. This is the second edition.

Unlike other entries in this Shadow Catcher Series, this reprint is done with modern fonts; the graphics are facsimile reproductions.

This can be ordered from LuLu Books: Strumy: The Art of Dialling By the Gnomical Scale (1679)

Foster1654EllipticalHorologiographySamuel Foster, Elliptical, Or Azimuthal Horologiography (1654). This brilliant work, far ahead of its time, details Foster's development of analemmatic, circular, and diametral sundials and their generalizations. The title appeared earlier in compressed format as part of The Analemmatic Sundial Sourcebook – it is now available here as a separate volume within the Shadow Catcher Series.

This can be ordered from LuLu Books: Foster: Elliptical or Azimuthal Horologiography (1654)

Ozanam1712TreatiseJacques Ozanam was a mathematician famous for his popular math texts. These included a math dictionary, a course of mathematics, and a text on mathematical and physical recreations. The last of these went through at least 18 editions over 2 centuries.

Ozanam's dialing was instructive and entertaining - it includes innovative ideas such as a geographic sundial showing the time anywhere in the world, various universal horizontal dials, and the first suggestion that one's own body could be the gnomon of an analemmatic dial. His texts also cover altitude, azimuth, lunar, reflection, refraction, portable and stereographic projection dials – all in addition to the standard instruction in drawing sundials on any plane.

This treatise is from the 1712 English translation (by the noted Newtonian scholar J.T. Desaguliers) of Ozanam's 1693 Course of Mathematics. The addendum is a 1708 English translation of the set of Problems of Dialling included in the 1st edition (1694) of his Recreations Mathematical & Physical.

This can be ordered from LuLu Books: Ozanam: A Treatise of Gnomonicks (1712)


  • Compendium
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  • Compendium Index

    Four times a year since 1994 The North American Sundial Society has published The Compendium.  Below is the Table of Contents for all issues of The Compendium.  You may get a CD of with all the content of these issues by purchasing The Repository CD.

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  • Repository
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  • Shadow Catchers

    The Shadow Catchers Series is a treasure trove of original dialing books. To preserve the art and methods of dialing, The North American Sundial Society began its sponsorship of The Shadow Catcher Series - to recreate the art of dialing with reprints of rare original works by the founders of modern dialing..

    Each title in the collection is a reproduction of a centuries-old dialing text not readily available elsewhere. Originally each title was available only for a limited time as a hardbound printed book. Now the entire collection is available now in economical softbound (perfect binding) printed volumes and, of course, they are still available on CD.

    The eight volumes span from Samuel Foster's Art of Dylling (1638) to Jacques Ozanam - A Treatise of Gnomonicks (1712) and can be ordered by special arrangement through LuLu Books or you may order a CD disk of the Shadow Catchers: NASS Publications Order Form

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  • Sundial Registry

    603_ny_ny_77st_1aThe Sundial Registry is a list of sundials registered with The North American Sundial Society that contains nearly 700 dials across North America.  These dials represent significant sundial art, sculpture, and historical works that are on public display.

    It is the intention of the NASS Register to list every significant sundial on the North American continent and surrounding islands. We have a good head start, but there are many dials yet to be recorded, and even recorded dials change over time.

    You can to help by visiting sundials in your area and sending pertinent information (1) by mailing in the PDF form at the bottom, (2) by using the on-line form, or (3) by contacting This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. We need basic descriptions of dials that have reasonable public access. Go dial hunting! Visit the dials in your area or as you travel, and send us your updates and discoveries. We need your input and we like surprises!

    For the first time we are able to present the COMPLETE Sundial Registry database of public dials, some of which have many interesting photos never seen before.

    NASS Members and the NASS Registar thank Chi Lian who visited 112 dials in 15 states and submitted numerous, excellent photos.

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  • Sundial Registry PDFs
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  • Contact Registrar
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