Sundials - World's Oldest Clocks

North American Sundial Society

Fairbanks  

Sundial: 998
State/Province:  Alaska Country:  USA
Dial Type:  Equatorial Dial Condition:  Excellent
  Latitude and Longitude: 64° 50.341' N  147° 44.064' W
Location:
  • At the Weeks Field by the Noel Wien Library in Fairbanks, Alaska
 
Description:
  • This equatorial sundial uses the shaft hole of an old airplane propeller as a nodus to cast a sun beam spot on the equatorial band. The arms are made from pieces cut from an unused pipe section intended for an oil pipeline. The dial appears to have time zone compensation. The hour marks are labelled for both Standard and Daylight Saving Time (with no minor marks). The propeller hole shines light onto the words "summer", "equinox", and "winter".

    This was a nearly twenty year project by Martin Gutoski, build a sundial near the Arctic Circle in Fairbanks, Alaska. He started in 1992 when he reviewed a survey for the local library in Fairbanks’ North Star Borough and finished in 2011.

    The plaque details the dial operation: "The dial is oriented to the south so that the shadow of the propeller centers over the hour of the day for either Alaska Standard or Alaska Daylight Time as shown on the horizontal arm. The small chart on the left side is for adding or subtracting the minutes of time to adjust for the seasonal difference between apparent sun time and local civil time. Sun shining through the center hole of the propeller will cast an outline across the bronze plate marking the two Equinoxes when they occur in September and March. At the time of the Winter and Summer Solstices, the sun circle will cross the bronze plates attached to the vertical arm above and below the horizontal arm respectively."
 
General Information:Inscription:
  • Owner: Weeks Field
  • Nearby plaque explains dial use
  • Designer: Martin Gutoski
  • Builder: Martin Gutoski
  • Construction Date: 2011
 
References: Web Links:
  • photos courtesy of Martin Gutoski

Last Revised: 2019-11-24 20:18:06

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