What's New Under The Sun

Thursday, 22 September 2022 20:41

The date is Sep. 22, 2022, the date of the fall equinox.  Although this is supposed to be the day of equal day and night, we know it's not exactly correct.  We measure daytime from sunrise to sunset, measured as the first and last light from the sun peaking over the horizon.  When we include sunrise and sunset plus atmospheric refration, at mid latitudes daylight wins by about 10...

Saturday, 27 August 2022 19:06

 Smithsonian Collection - Pocket sundial by Bourgaud of Nantes, 1660–1675. (MA.325565) From the National Museum of American History is an article about "How did a French pocket sundial end up buried in a field in Indiana?" published 20 July 2022 by Kidwell & Schechner.   It started in 1860 when Dr. Elisha Cannon, while plowing a field in Indiana, came...

Tuesday, 23 August 2022 14:17

The 2022 Sawyer Dialing Prize went to Frans Maes "for his creation of an introductory course on dialing, built on the idea of supervised self-study; for his successful multi-year running of that course in Europe; and for his inspiration of NASS’ development of a North American version.” Fred presented Frans with an award certification, the traditional cash prize of $250 and a custom made...

Tuesday, 09 August 2022 21:32

What makes a sundial?  Practically anything.  Sasch Stephens discusses how he became interested in dialing.  Since then he has turned many objects into solar time devices.  It takes some creative thinking to invision how a common object can become a working sundial.  One of the most recent projects turned a 54 x 28 foot south side of a building it into a giant sundial...

Sunday, 12 June 2022 22:00

Dr. Jeremy Robinson, (Naval Research Laboratory, Electronics Science and Technology Division) combined efforts with his father-in-law, Prof. Woodruff Sullivan (Univ. of Washington Dept. of Astronomy) to construct the World's Smallest Sundial. The competition was sponsored by Cadrans Solaires pour Tous and their record is being entered into the Guiness Book of World...

Saturday, 28 May 2022 17:28

Perhaps the smallest sundial goes to IBM with the printing of a sundial in a corner of a computer chip.  However it lacked a gnomon and could not really tell the time.  However, Chen Fong-shean, a Taiwanese miniature craftsman, was challenged by the French astronomical society to beat the Guiness World Record for smallest sundial held by an Italian.  The Italian dial created in...

Wednesday, 25 May 2022 14:42

NASS is saddened to report the passing of one of the UK’s pre-eminent sundial designer, Christopher St. J H Daniel who died on May 17, 2022. His works are to be found all over the UK, ranging from private commissions to major public works and to restorations and reconstruction of old and damaged sundials. After a 13-year career at sea, Christopher Daniel joined the staff of the National...

Thursday, 05 May 2022 15:48

Hochshule KaiserLautern Observatory.  HSKL Photo When is an astronomical observatory not an observatory? When it's playing the roll of R2-D2.  According to Atlas Obscura, "A university in Germany [Hochschule KaisersLautern, University of Applied Scieces Kaiserslautern at the Zweibrücken campus] has transformed its hilltop observatory into the charming likeness...

Friday, 29 April 2022 16:12

NASS is saddened to report that longtime member Harold Brandmaier died on April 11, 2022.  Throughout his long life, besides his ever-present sundials, Hal enjoyed stained glass, ship models, photography, travel, folk dance, and playing the hammered dulcimer and hand drums – always in company with his beloved wife Ginny.  Hal had been a member since NASS founding and stepped in to help...

Friday, 22 April 2022 14:45

On April 2, 2022 the Perseverance Martian rover's Mastcam-Z camera looked sunward and took a video of the eclipse of the sun by the "potato-shaped" moon Phobos.  According the NASA Mars Exploration Program site, "It’s the most zoomed-in, highest-frame-rate observation of a Phobos solar eclipse ever taken from the Martian surface."  NASA reports that "Several Mars rovers have observed...

Saturday, 26 February 2022 17:52

The 27th annual meeting of the North American Sundial Society was held at the Holiday Inn – Vanderbilt in Nashville from 11-14 August.  The Thursday night social included meeting old friends, exchanging stories about sundials, and for a lucky dozen-plus attendees, receiving sundial books and related door prizes.  One of the highlights of Friday’s sundial tour was seeing the symbolic...

Thursday, 17 February 2022 20:35

According to NewAtlas.com (https://newatlas.com/architecture/sun-tower-open/), construction of the Sun Tower exhibition building and outdoor theater is underway in the Chinese city of Yantai. The tower is being constructed by a French firm, Ducks Sceno and the engineering firm Arup, raising to 50m (164 ft) gracefully into the sky.  The tower symbolizes the historic watch towers of...


What is the NASS Repository?

The North American Sundial Society makes available a treasure trove of dialing material on a single DVD ! To purchase The NASS Repository and other NASS publications, see the NASS Publications Order Form or go to the bottom of this page
Compendium Cover Dec 2008

So what does the NASS Repository contain??

Compendium Back Issues - All 108 issues from the first 27 years of the NASS journal are presented in PDF format, with known errors corrected and hyperlinks both within and across the issues.

Sundial Registry - A link to the ever-expanding online registry of sundials (over 1000) in North America, including locations, brief descriptions and many photos. Also a link to the Registry Sundial map.

Aked/Severino Gnomonics Bibliography - This is an important listing of over 10,000 works on dialing and is probably the largest such compilation ever assembled. (copyright Charles Aked / Nicola Severino)

The British Sundial Society Sundial Glossary - This glossary of more than 500 terms relating to sundials includes definitions, cross-links, equations and the beginnings of a chronology. Over 50 of the main entries have been linked to more detailed articles available elsewhere on the DVD, thus providing the option to choose between a brief definition and a detailed account. (copyright BSS/John Davis)

Cyclopædic Diallist - The comprehensive treatise on dialing by Henry Meikle which appeared in the Eighth Edition (1852-1860) of the Encyclopædia Britannica. The work is augmented by excerpts from the work of Hugh Godfray in the Ninth Edition (1875-1879), and further augmented by extracts from a lecture (1770) by James Ferguson. This compilation is presented here for the first time with annotation, modern mathematical formulation and additional material by Fred Sawyer.

Sciatheric Notes - I - A collection of Fred Sawyer's articles that appeared in the Bulletin of The British Sundial Society in the years 1991 to 1997. The book contains a brief introduction and review of the articles by Fred and a foreword by Charles K. Aked. Charles observes: "These articles are of real importance in the published work on dialing and essential reading for all who wish a deeper understanding of the fundamentals of dialing.... It is an honor to prepare a Foreword to this jewel of a collection of articles."

Dialling Universal by George Serle - A NASS edition of this 1657 book - the first to introduce a comprehensive set of dialing scales on a ruler. The booklet was edited and annotated by Fred Sawyer, and it introduces what James Ferguson called "the easiest of all mechanical methods, and by much the best." The book itself serves both as an instruction manual and as a discussion on the theory of dialing scales.

Dialing Software - The digital bonuses that NASS has distributed with The Compendium, as well as some new material. Some of the more significant programs include Zonwvlak (with a manual, full discussion of equations, and a beta copy of the new Windows Zonwvlak 2000), The Dialist's Companion (DOS-based), Ferrari's Sund98p, Blateyron's freeware program Shadows, the latst version of Sonderegger's Sonne, and Casalegno’s Orologi Solari.

Selected Patents - The full text and images of over 100 sundial-related patents issued in the U.S. since 1952.

Search Facility - There are several ways to navigate around the DVD, including hyperlinks, bookmarks, and a search facility that finds every occurrence of any word or phrase anywhere on the DVD.

And Much More!

Don't miss out on this unique and useful collection of dialing information on DVD for only $30 USD, including shipping.

Make checks payable to NASS and send to Fred Sawyer, 27 Ninas Way, Manchester CT 06040, USA. All payments must be in US funds (checks drawn on a US bank). Alternatively, you can send credit card payment via PayPal to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. – just be sure to include a note explaining that the payment is for the Repository DVD.

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