Sundial: 112
State/Province:  South Carolina Country:  USA
Dial Type:  Vertical Dial Condition:  Excellent
  Latitude and Longitude: 33° 14.627' N  81° 21.894' W
  • In front of Barnwell County Courthouse, 141 Mainstreet, Barnwell, SC 29812
  • This vertical cast iron dial is a rectangle approximately 30x40 inches mounted on a pole. The Barnwell sundial was a gift to the city in Sept 1858 from state senator J.D. Allen, and has continuously shown civil time - accurate to within two minutes - for over 150 years. The vertical dial has an Equation of Time list of corrections for each week, giving the correction in minutes and seconds. A canon ball from the civil war sits atop the sundial. The dial is surrounded by a low circular wall with bronze statuary of a boy walking on the wall and a girl at some distance, looking at the dial.

    Claimed as "The only free-standing, vertical sundial in the US that was keeping standard time before it was even invented." The claim may be correct, but the modern plaque that claims the dial tells standard time is not. The Equation of Time on the face of the dial does not have longitude correction. Why? Because standard time had not been invented yet. So the Barnwell dial corrects to mean solar time, but not to standard (or daylight saving) time.
General Information:Inscription:
  • Owner: City of Barnwell
  • Equation of Time on Dial
    Plaque: "Obtained from Mr. O.B. Haselton, ironmonger, Charleston ...and gifted to the city by J.D. Allen"
  • Designer: unknown
  • Builder: O.B. Haselton, ironmonger, Charleston
  • Construction Date: dedicated Sept 1858
References: Web Links:

Last Revised: 2022-04-30 22:42