Sundials - World's Oldest Clocks

North American Sundial Society

Athens  

Sundial: 1009
State/Province:  Ohio Country:  USA
Dial Type:  Horizontal Dial Condition:  Excellent
  Latitude and Longitude: 39° 19.580′ N  82° 5.952′ W
Location:
  • On the campus of Ohio University. Sundial stands at the location of "The Academy" building, the first University building erected in 1807. The dial is 1/10 mile south of E. Union Street, standing in the lawn in front of Galbreath Chapel.
 
Description:
  • For a dial 114 years old, it is in excellent condition. The bronze dial is of simple form with hour marks every quarter of the hour and a chapter ring with Roman hours from 5:30am to 6:30pm. Surrounding the chapter ring it reads "Ohio University". Father time stands with a scythe at the foot of the gnomon that contains the profile of a bird. On the dial plate Shakespeare's Sonnet 16 is lightly engraved. The sundial was erected in 1907, though there is a photo of "a quartet of gentlemen" attributed in 1890, yet the cylindrical pedestal with plaque is easily recognizable.

    An apocryphal story details that President Theodore Roosevelt (1901-1909) when visiting Ohio University and the town of Athens in 1912 apparently shocked the townsfolk while he was crossing the campus to give an address at the count courthouse. Not finding a receptacle to extinguish his cigar, he used the sundial to snuff out the embers.
 
General Information:Inscription:
  • Owner: Ohio University
  • Shakespeare's Sonnet 16 on dial face.

    On the pedestal, "Site of first university building erected in 1807. Here Hon. Thomas Ewing was graduated in 1815 One of the first two graduates."
  • Designer: unknown
  • Builder: unknown
  • Construction Date: Dedicated 1907
 
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Last Revised: 2021-03-22 20:58

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