Sundials - World's Oldest Clocks

North American Sundial Society

Selected Sundials of Texas

Click on any photo or city name to get more sundial details and more photos.

Amarillo Texas USA Gnomonic Dial 67
The Centennial Time Tower begins as a tetrahedron of stainless steel pipes each 18 feet long. Then a central pipe towers to the sky, giving an overall height of about 50 feet. The Time Tower is situated on a circle about 100 feet in diameter. The dial was erected for the hundredth anniversary of the discovery of Helium. Each individual pipe is a time capsule filled with helium. The plaque under the center of the tower shows when each one is to be opened.
Clear Lake Shores Texas USA Equatorial Dial 673
An approximately four foot diameter ring equatorial dial of painted steel with Roman numeral hour marks and a long double-bar steel gnomon. Ring is sagging somewhat at base support, perhaps from being climbed upon.
College Station Texas USA Armillary Dial 134
Called the Texas A&M Armillary Sphere, this sundial is 60 inches in diameter. Made of wrought iron, it has one large vertical ring representing the meridian at College Station. Attached to the inside of this ring is a wide band representing the celestial equator. The outside of this band is decorated with gold signs of the zodiac. On the inside are gold roman numerals for each hour. A rod with gold tip and ornate fan is the gnomon. A metal plaque mounted nearby gives a description of the dial and EoT corrections. Dial donated by Searcy Bracewell, class of '38. Built by Kenneth Lynch & Sons, Wilton, CT. Dial sits atop a concrete cylinder, 2 foot high, 3 foot diameter.
Dallas Texas USA Horizontal Dial 385
Horizontal dial approximately 20 feet in diameter. The gnomon is stainless steel and the dial face is of ceramic tile. Has Hour markers for both standard and daylight saving time, and an Equation of Time table. Large panels also describe significant makers and inventions in Texas Instrument's history. Global map of the earth as viewed from the north pole. Inscription provides some sundial history.
Edinburg Texas USA Vertical Gnomon Dial 478
A vertical gnomon 19.58 feet tall projects its shadow onto a modernistic courtyard. The courtyard has inlays showing the hour corrected for the equation of time, give a sinuous set of curves to the hour lines.
Euless Texas USA Equatorial Dial 602
A granite and stainless steel equatorial dial approximately 6 feet high. Equation of time and user information are shown on a granite lab in front of the dial.
Galveston Texas USA Equatorial Dial 318
This is an equatorial dial 3 x 4 feet tall, set up for the latitude and longitude of Galveston Texas. Corrections for the Equation of Time are cut as an analemma into the broad gnomon that rotates on a polar rod. The Equatorial time ring has hour lines viewed as standard time or DST at 5 minute intervals. The dial started when one of the Galveston residents constructed a park to honor his grand father. Bill Swann proposed to put a dial in one corner. His friend liked the idea. The park architect wanted the dial to be long lasting and suggested that it be made of galvanized steel. The dial is made out of rolled flat bar with a cross section of 3/4 x 4 inches. The dial itself was patterned after a dial which was located at Swann's college campus- Vanderbilt University. That dial was designed by the late Professor Dillard Jacobs. While Swann did not remember the specifics of that dial, the memory of it set the quest to decipher the suns orbit for this Galveston sundial. The time is displayed from a shadow cast onto a time ring. The "operator" pivots a plate, facing it toward the sun. The inscription on the plate reads "Face bar towards sun-Read time at month's shadow". The plate has a cutout in the shape of the analemma. Where the shadow cast by this cutout falls on the time ring specifies the time. Swann remembers that he "stayed out quite late one night to align the dial to a point in the sky near the north star." The sundial design is identical to the design of dial # 344 on the NASS web page. The metal forming techniques are different. Swann has been in contact with the designer, Peter Swanstrom.
Houston Texas USA Sundial Sculpture Dial 275
An 85 inch high bronze sundial-like sculpture with elevated horizontal semicircular ring and steeply inclined bar up from base. Pegs and marks on ring suggest hour marks but design is wrong for location. Work is dedicated to exploration of space and has been relocated to a very shady area.
Houston Texas USA Dial 68
Large gnomon with a lens which focuses the noonday sun near the equinoxes. Hour lines built to compensate for equation of time.
Houston Texas USA Armillary Dial 863
The armillary sundial is part of the statue Hercules Upholding the Heavens. The statue portrays the ancient Greek hero Hercules performing the eleventh of his twelve labors, holding the heavens on his back for Atlas. The bronze sculpture is 1,650 pounds and over 10 feet tall. In 1917 Paul Manship was asked by Charles Schwab (Bethlehem Steel) to create this sculpture for his garden at his newly completed mansion.
Houston Texas USA Equatorial/Armillary Dial 683
A 32 inch partial armillary of anodized aluminum and steel with wide equatorial and horizon rings and with equinoctial colure, Arctic and Antarctic circle rings. The gnomon includes an aperture to project a solar image on the wide equatorial ring, which includes EOT corrections, graphic for date determination and Zodiacal symbols. Reverse of gnomon aperture includes the university crest. Horizon ring graphic shows time of sunrise/sunset throughout the year. Dial is partially shaded by surrounding trees. Dial sits on an approximately 4 foot high polished granite pedestal
Houston Texas USA Calendrical Dial 684
A large concrete, paving stone and standing stone calendrical dial with interior labyrinth. Outer ring shows NESW alignments. Four split standing stone portals are aligned for summer and winter solstice sunrise and sunset. An inner ring contains 13 trees representing the 13 cycles of the moon. The park in which this dial is located is designed with an aeronautical and archaeoastronomy theme. The circular forms of the parking lot and plaza are aligned with the crescent lake on a N-S axis while the stone portals viewed from the plaza center mark the summer and winter solstices.
Houston Texas USA Analemmatic Dial 686
A large analemmatic dial of paving stones, square limestone hour posts with Arabic hour numerals and polished granite date line. Hour numerals show Standard Time. Dial has a concrete border around perimeter.
Houston Texas USA Armillary Dial 244
A 72 inch painted steel armillary dial with meridian, equatorial, horizon, Arctic and Antarctic rings. Equatorial ring has hourly Roman numerals and zodiacal symbols on its exterior. A bronze plaque on the base explains the armillary operation and provides a table of combined EOT and longitude corrections. Since Houston is more than 5 degrees from the time zone meridian, the longitude correction is almost 22 minutes, greater than the largest EOT correction, resulting in the combined corrections to always add to the dial time. Dial is mounted to a two foot diameter concrete pedestal. This dial was restored in 2000 by the Houston Municipal Art Commission funded by Searcy and Elizabeth Bracewell.
La Porte Texas USA Armillary Dial 216
Approximately 6 foot diameter bronze armillary dial with equatorial, meridian and equinoctial colure rings and with Arctic and Antarctic circle rings. Hour lines have 5 minute marks and Roman numerals. Equatorial ring has Zodiacal signs. Base shows the Great Seal of Texas and includes a bronze eternal flame. Names of fallen heroes are inscribed on the base and paths to and from the dial lead to location of Sam Houston's troops prior to the battle of San Jacinto. The San Jacinto Monument is seen in the distance.
League City Texas USA Equatorial Dial 678
A small ornate bronze equatorial dial with Roman numeral hours marked on inside of equatorial ring and Zodiacal signs on back side and also on base of dial. Dial is places on a flagstone and cement pedestal.
McDonald Observatory Texas USA Horizontal Dial 771
A monumental horizontal dial on a cast concrete base with a 5 foot high polished granite gnomon. Hour lines radiate from the gnomon root and hour markers with Arabic numerals are placed on a square about the gnomon. Instructions for reading the dial are engraved on the side of the gnomon.
Nassau Bay Texas USA Horizontal Dial 680
An iron pipe and cement dial with 30 minute hour lines and Roman numeral hour marks for DST. Dial includes a compass rose and EOT chart.
Nassau Bay Texas USA Horizontal Dial 714
A cast concrete horizontal dial with a rugged steel water pipe gnomon. Dial face has hour and half hour marks with Roman hour numerals showing CDST and a compass rose with dial coordinates. A graph marked in the concrete shows EOT correction.
Port Arthur Texas USA Polar Equatorial Dial 446
A large Erickson Monument polar equatorial dial of light colored granite, approximately 6 feet in diameter and 6 inches thick. The gnomon shaft is steel, extending from the ground through the dial plate and outward another two feet. The base is a simple tier of raised concrete. 24 hours are inscribed on each side of the dial (summer and winter) as radiating lines with Arabic numbers at the end. Time is graduated by half-hour and 5 minute marks. Two equation of time graphs, each about 3 x 6 feet engraved in granite, are set at the north and south ends of the dial, providing corrections from Apr-Sep, and Oct-Mar. [An interesting note about the engraving for the Apr-Sep graph: The line originally said "For daylight savings time, subtract one hour", the word "subtract" was filled in and "you add" was inscribed over it.] In the top quadrant of the dial (both obverse and reverse) where the sun's shadow will never cast, are the names of cities in 16 different Time Zones. A beautiful and well-crafted sundial, it makes a fitting Seaman's Memorial. Compare this dial with other Erickson dials