Sundials - World's Oldest Clocks

North American Sundial Society

Saratoga Springs  

Sundial: 954
State/Province:  New York Country:  USA
Dial Type:  Horizontal Dial Condition:  Excellent
  Latitude and Longitude: 43° 04.1247' N  73° 45.3543' W
Location:
  • Yaddo Gardens entrance on Union Ave (Rt 9P) Saratoga Springs, NY, just off exit 14 of I87
 
Description:
  • The beautifully engraved horizontal dial plate is a reproduction of the original 1901 dial. It is inscribed with “Lat 43 degrees 5 N, Long. 73 degrees 46.40 W.” This is at slight variance from the current GPS position, implying that the dial has been moved from its original position. The dial plate is 18 inches in diameter and the gnomon has a vertical height of 8.5 inches. The gnomon and dial plate are aligned at 12 degrees west of true north. Significantly, the compass magnetic declination for this location is 13.5 degrees west of true north. This misalignment makes the dial about 30 minutes fast. This is particularly unfortunate since the inscribed dial is capable of showing time to the nearest minute. The stone table upon which the sundial rests is a reproduction of a table found in the ruins of Pompeii.

    The outer ring is inscribed: “Hours Fly, Flowers Die, New Days, New Ways, Pass By, Love Stays” The next ring has Roman numerals marking the hours from 4 in the morning to 8 in the evening, Arabic numerals at the 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 and 60 minute intervals and fine lines marking one minute intervals. The intermediate rings are inscribed with “The Equation of Natural Days” which provides a scale for adjusting solar time to watch time, indicating the number of minutes of variance for each day of every month. The innermost ring is a 16 point compass rose.
 
General Information:Inscription:
  • Owner: Yaddo Corporation
  • “Time is too slow for those who wait
    Too swift for those who fear
    Too long for those who grieve
    Too short for those who rejoice
    But for those who Love Time is Eternity"
    "Yaddo 1901"
  • Designer:
  • Builder:
  • Construction Date: 1990 replacement of original 1901 dial
 
References:
  • The original 1901 sundial was stolen replaced by Charles Wait in 1990 with a sundial cast from the original mold. It was donated in memory of his father, Newman E. Wait Jr., who had served as chairman of Yaddo Corporation for many years. It has a plaque inscribed “This restored sundial is dedicated to Mr. and Mrs. Newman E. Wait Jr. and reflects their devotion to Yaddo and their service to Saratoga.”

Last Revised: 2019-06 -16 15:44

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