Sundials - World's Oldest Clocks

North American Sundial Society

Sundials of North America

This is a complete listing of sundials in the North American Sundial Society Registry. Click on any dial thumbnail picture or city name to display the full dial listing and images. To see sundials from a particular state or province, you may click on the list at right to see all registered sundials in that state, province or country (at bottom) displayed in city order.

You may also type into the NASS search field at upper right any search word such as "equatorial" to get a list of all articles mentioning equatorial dials and a list of all equatorial sundials in the registry. (Try other dial types: "vertical", "horizontal", etc).

 
 
Ventura California USA Horizontal Dial Dial 1007
The central part of the bronze sundial, approximately 12 inches in diameter, has the traditional hour marks and divisions into 15 minute intervals and surrounded by Roman numerals from 5am to 7pm. South of the gnomon is a simple compass rose with four cardinal points. With the dial at ground level the gnomon has led a hard life and is now held to the dial plate with improvised brackets. Surrounding the dial, doubling the size to 24 inches in diameter is an elegantly engraved ring of the twelve figures of the zodiac, each named on the outer ring with the corresponding month on the inner ring.
 
 
Indianapolis Indiana USA Horizontal Dial Dial 1006
Nestled among the trees in a small triangular park is a monumental horizontal sundial with oversized hour marks. The apparent method of reading the Roman hours that are all south of the 6am - 6pm line, is to look at the shadow then gaze across the sundial to read (upside down) the hour. The hours are 6, 9 ,12, 3, and 6. On the north side of the 6am-6pm line are 3 plaques where the normal 9, 12, and 3 hours should be. One is a plaque for Robert McCord who planted and maintained the park during the 60's until his death. Another plaque records that the McCord Park sundial is dedicated to a local police officer, William Whitfield, who was the first African American police officer killed in the line of duty in Indianapolis. His name is engraved on the central part of the large triangular sundial gnomon. Surrounding the base of the sundial are ceramic tiles from Barbara Zech, a local clay artist who fired the tiles created by students from the nearby school. The tiles have the theme of "home" and "community". The park renovations were headed by the group Keep Indianapolis Beautiful.
 
 
Marshfield Massachusetts USA Analemmatic Dial Dial 1005
This beautiful and educational analemmatic sundial is painted on the blue background of a 14x10 foot concrete pad. The ellipse itself has a semi-major axis of 76 inches and a semi-minor axis of 48 inches, particular suited for children. The zodiac walkway is nicely painted in white with clean stenciling of the months. The solstices and equinoxes are marked in large letters and the cardinal points are flagged in red. The hour marks are bright yellow suns enumerated in standard time and offset for longitude. The paint is covered with a clear sealer plus a bit of "shark grit" to roughen the surface a bit to give some traction . This is similar to the approach taken by John Carmichael for the dial at the University of Arizona, NASS Registry #825.
 
 
Longport New Jersey USA Sun Alignment Dial 1004
This concrete and bronze dial is really an alignment sculpture, honoring events from Armistice Day (Nov 11, 1918) to Pearl Harbor (Dec 7, 1941). A five-vaned support casts a shadow onto brass medallions on the time and date of the event such as the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month for Armistice (Veterans) Day. Surrounding the dial are five bronze plaques representing the different branches of the U.S. armed forces.
 
 
Norwell Massachusetts USA Vertical Dial Dial 1003
This vertical declining dial is made of painted plywood with a simple white background and black hour lines and Arabic numerals. The gnomon is a brass rod without nodus. The hour lines have been adjusted for the difference between the site's longitude and the 75° W standard-time meridian. The hours are numbered as Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) instead of Standard Time, because in winter the sun is mostly low in the sky and trees in this wooded area block sunlight from reaching the sundial. Of course to obtain correct EDT, the equation of time needs to be added to the dial's time to account for the variable meridian passage of the sun. At most this amounts to -14 minutes (mid-February) or +16 minutes (early November).
 
 
Black Rock City Nevada USA Equatorial Dial Dial 1002
"About Time" was a 30 foot long, 3000 pound wooden pyramid. This installation projected time using two sundials: a gnomonic vertical sundial that swept its shadow of time out across the desert floor and an equatorial dial located on one faces of the pyramid. A platform at the peak of the pyramid allowed observers to become the gnomonic sundial’s apex and to experience 360 deg views of the landscape. At the end of the installation the piece was burned, a testament to the unidirectional march of entropy and time, underscoring the fleeting nature of the present moment.
 
 
Mexico City México Mexico Vertical Dial Dial 1001
This is a south facing reclining vertical sundial made of stone about one and a half meter square. The dial's concrete mount adjusts the dial to true south even though the carillon tower is not N-S aligned. Hour lines and Roman numbers on the dial go from 7am to 5pm. Monthly declination lines show the date as well as the solstices and equinox. A simple rod gnomon exits a gold ball at the top of the dial. The dial itself is well above eye level and hard to read. The other end of the carillon tower has an Aztec calendar.
 
 
Milwaukee Wisconsin USA Analemmatic Dial Dial 1000
During the design of the bridge across the lagoon, the walkway was extended in the center on the north side, creating a niche for a 12 x 6 foot analemmatic dial. The dial is painted bright yellow with hours marked from 5am to 9pm (daylight saving time). The 1pm hour mark is set 8 1/2 minutes past local noon corresponding to its location just east of the Central Time Zone meridian. The walkway is marked with a central line using tic marks for each month and solstices. As of 2019, the paint is well worn. The dial has red circular Bailey marks for observing the direction of sunrise and sunset. Latitude and longitude are painted on the dial as well. At the north side of the dial on bridge railing is a sign explaining how to stand on the dial and use the equation of time chart to get civil time
 
 
Anchorage Alaska USA Sculpture/Artwork Dial 999
A sun sculpture called "Solar Path". The large 24 x 35 x 12 feet sculpture made by renowned artist Bill FitzGibbons consists of a blue vertical pole and two low sloping wedges. The vertical column makes a linear shadow that is supposed to show approximate solar time as it passes over evenly spaced inlaid hourly numbers from 8am to 8pm. This is not a functional sundial! The short wedge points to where the sunrises on the summer solstice and the longer wedge form points to where the sunrises on the winter solstice.
 
 
Fairbanks Alaska USA Equatorial Dial Dial 998
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".
 
 
Port Hueneme California USA Horizontal Dial Dial 997
A large, 20 ft. diameter horizontal bronze dial constructed in memory of Alaska Airlines Flight 261, which crashed 14 miles offshore nearby on January 31, 2000, with the loss of all aboard. 88 bronze plaques surround the dial on its beveled edge honoring passengers and crew who died. The dial face is simple without hour lines but Roman numerals from 8am to 4pm to mark the hours. The thin, gleaming gnomon is decorated with dolphins at the base symbolizing the sea into which the plane fell. The sundial is set in a circular plaza 36 feet in diameter.
 
 
South Hadley Massachusetts USA Vertical Dial Dial 996
This vertical sundial declines slightly to the southwest in alignment with the building wall. The 1x1 meter dial is of concrete and built in the middle of the south wall. Because of its size and height at least 25 feet above ground, it was made to be seen at a distance. In 1916 when it was built, the land to the south was clear and many early photographs show the dial prominently on the south face One hundred years later many trees block the sunlight to this fine sundial. The dial is delineated in half-hour lines spanning from the 7:30am line in morning to the 6pm hour line in the evening. The hour lines are marked with Roman numerals. There are no solstice or equinox lines.
 
 
South Hadley Massachusetts USA Vertical Dial Dial 995
This vertical dial is a quaint and simple sundial made of wood. It is nearly square in shape with hour lines radiating from the gnomon. The hours are marked at the edge of the square in small Roman numerals. There are no solstice or equinox lines. The black disk on the dial face is the base of the gnomon.
 
 
Richmond Virginia USA Horizontal Dial Dial 994
A large circular plaza holds 7 life sized bronze statues of influential Virginia women during the last 400 years. The plaza will eventually feature 5 more life-size bronze statues. Dedicated in Oct 2019 this monument is a work in progress with other women still to be recognized. In the center of the plaza on a wide circular granite pedestal is a bronze horizontal sundial. In addition to the normal dial furniture of compass rose, inscriptions, site latitude & longitude, and a chapter ring with the hours from 5am to 7pm there is additional information: points of interest in Virginia shown around the dial in the outer chapter ring. Each location is listed by name, azimuth, and distance from the Capitol site. Underneath the style of the gnomon is a bronze Northern Cardinal, the state bird of Virginia.
 
 
Cincinnati Ohio USA Analemmatic Dial Dial 993
This analemmatic sundial is laid out in brick. The walkway consists of an inlaid brass analemma surrounded by month indicators for where to stand etched in brick. The analemmatic ellipse is brass, etched with time marks every 15 minutes. Just to the inside and outside of the ellipse are the hours in standard and daylight savings time. Brass indicators are inlaid for the Bailey Points to show the of time and direction of sunrise and sunset. At the edge of the circular brick plaza are granite markers of the cardinal points.
 
 
Breaux Bridge Louisiana USA Equatorial Dial Dial 992
This is a simple but well designed equatorial dial made of a steel frame and 4-foot diameter aluminum equatorial band. This time band can be loosened from its frame and rotated to an equation of time offset position that's based on solar noon according to dates on a placard fixed to the base. When adjusted, the dial shows time to within a minute. The 10-minute time marks and Arabic hour numbers used vinyl numbers and strips as cover during sand-blasting of the aluminum time band. The vinyl was removed leaving the reflective and polished marks and numbers against the grainy sanded aluminum. (This process was first done on a test piece five years earlier and placed it in direct sunlight - no signs of deterioration or coloring. So this is a relatively easy and permanent alternative to chemical etching). Attention is given to alignment with the base adjusted in azimuth and the dial adjusted with a set of three-point latitude and skew alignment bolts. This dial is an excellent study in functional design. According to the builder, "It was a real fun project. Getting it designed and properly setup was challenging. It has given me a keen appreciation for what it must have taken to build some of the great dials around the world!"
 
 
Nanaimo British Columbia Canada Horizontal Dial Dial 991
This is a beautiful but standard mass-produced dial, with chapter rings for Roman numerals, hour lines, half and quarter hour lines. In the center is the sun surrounded by a compass rose, The dial is brass and sits on a tapered square pillar of cut stone. The gnomon is a solid, unadorned shape. Pictorial evidence from the Internet suggests that the dial has been vandalized and repaired more than once.
 
 
Vancouver British Columbia Canada Sculpture/Artwork Dial 990
This artwork along Prince Edward street stretches about 1.5 mile (2.4 km). The latitude and longitude are given for the mid point. As public art the installation is know as Solar Patterns I and II. They are a collection of metal banners attached high on street poles and at eye level, an explanation of the pattern in the banner. Each banner consists of a yellow or orange aluminum sheet perforated with round holes representing the sun following a simple curve that is part of the analemma. The third dot from the top of the banner is replaced by an image of the sun as conceived by various artists ranging from school children to iconic images from various cultures to historic representations of the sun from cave paintings.
 
 
Lake Cowichan British Columbia Canada Horizontal Dial Dial 989
This is a beautiful but standard mass-produced dial, with chapter rings for Roman numerals, hour lines, half and quarter hour lines. In the center is the sun surrounded by a compass rose, The dial itself is brass, but sits on a round cast iron base all sitting on a square concrete pillar. The gnomon was vandalized and now is missing. The base is losing its protective coat of paint and starting to rust. A thick hedge has grown up around the sundial, obscuring the sun on the east, south and west sides. It appears to be largely ignored.
 
 
Fort Wayne Indiana USA Horizontal Dial Dial 988
This is a large 20 foot diameter horizontal dial embedded in the cement sidewalk. Brass hour lines extend from the edge of the circular dial to the toe of the gnomon. The gnomon itself is a brass triangle, tarnished except for its tip that is frequently rubbed by visitors. Arabic numerals mark time by hours from 6 am to 6 pm.
 

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