Sundials - World's Oldest Clocks

North American Sundial Society

Boston  

Sundial: 41
State/Province:  Massachusetts Country:  USA
Dial Type:  Vertical Dial Condition:  No Longer Exists
  Latitude and Longitude: 42° 21.000' N  71° 3.000' W
Location:
  • Old State House, South East Wall near roof line.
 
Description:
  • Once high on east facing wall of the Old State House, was a vertical declining sundial originally built in 1713. The 6x4 foot dial was just above the third story window. It was restored by R.N. Mayall in 1957. But the background became a faded blue and hour lines were hard to see. At least the Roman numerals along edge were clearly visible. In the upper left corner of dial, just above the gnomon,was a small yellow sun.

    The photo below was taken in 2005, and the dial is no longer present. It may have been removed during building restoration in late 1990s. The sundial was replaced with a clock. In 2020 NASS contacted the National Park Service-Boston National Historic Park, Boston Society Library, Massachusetts Historical Society, and Revolutionary Spaces. They are all in agreement that the Old State House dial has been lost. There may have been a photo of the east side of the building taken between 1957-1990, but none can find it.
 
General Information:
  • Owner: State of Massachusetts
  • Designer:
  • Builder: restored by R.N. Mayall
  • Construction Date: built 1713, restored 1957
 
References:
  • Mayall, p.210, photo, p.232.
    Mayall, 'Shadows of Time', Yankee Magazine, March 1968.

Last Revised: 2020-02-28 13:25

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