Portable sundials
November 1, 2018 8:43 PM   Subscribe

Ancient Romans say it's Pork O'Clock. Chaucer says it's Pryme of Day. Pyrenean shepherds say it's time to take the sheep home. Maybe it's time for you to make your own.
posted by bq (8 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite

I loved sundials as a kid. I set up crude sundials at many of the out of the way places that I played in so I could roughly tell the time. I may have to try an build a shepherds dial.
posted by a humble nudibranch at 9:28 PM on November 1, 2018 [1 favorite]

I have a brass ring dial hanging in my office window.
posted by ragtag at 11:22 PM on November 1, 2018 [1 favorite]

Simple sundials are an excellent tool for gaining awareness of the rhythm of the dance of Sun and Earth, but if you're interested in clock-style accuracy, consider making your own heliochronometer.
posted by fairmettle at 11:47 PM on November 1, 2018 [4 favorites]

And here is a neat chapter of an old book about pocket sundials that I just found.
posted by ragtag at 11:47 PM on November 1, 2018 [2 favorites]

According to an old Dover book on sundials I have somewhere, the night before he was beheaded by the Parliamentarians in 1649, Charles I gave his son a pocket sundial in silver, which the son later described as his dearest possession.

And when the Restoration made the son Charles II in 1660, he went on to establish the Greenwich observatory, which ultimately became timekeeper to the world.
posted by jamjam at 12:45 AM on November 2, 2018 [5 favorites]

When I was in Jaipur I got to visit the Jantar Mantar, a collection of 18th century astronomical observing instruments. Lots of amazing things there but the biggest is the sundial, some 70 feet tall. The bigger the sundial the more the shadow moves and so the more accurate the time. This thing had markings for every two minutes. It was remarkable just sitting there watching the shadow move along the dial.
posted by Nelson at 10:34 AM on November 2, 2018 [3 favorites]

Cloudy days are outside of time.
posted by nofundy at 1:28 PM on November 2, 2018 [3 favorites]

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