Sundial, Shepherd's Cylinder Dial

Sundial, Shepherd's Cylinder Dial

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Description
This wooden cylinder dial, sometimes called a shepherd's dial or chilindre, measures the length of the sun's shadow rather than the angle of the shadow. The instrument has a turned finial drilled for a suspension loop; a white ribbon is threaded through the hole and tied. The metal blade gnomon has a filial edge. This gnomon apparently does not fold. A second slot across from the slot containing the gnomon suggests that there might originally have been two gnomons: a short one for summer and a long one for winter. The top of the instrument with the gnomon turns on a screw. The scales are inked on. The calendar scale is calibrated in increments of five days, marked at intervals of "15" and "30", and lettered by zodiac symbol. The hour lines are calibrated from 5 to 12 to 7 by 1. Previous cataloging notes, "Identified as So. German, ca. 1625. The length of the noon shadow at the equinoxes is marked as 35 mm, corresponding to a latitude of about 50 degrees 10 minutes."
References:
The Whipple Museum of the History of Science, Catalogue 6: Sundials and Related Instruments, Part 4, Section 1.
Charles K. Aked, "Clock of Wisdom," Clocks Magazine (February 1987): 25.
References: The Whipple Museum of the History of Science, Catalogue 6: Sundials and Related Instruments, Part 4, Section 1; Charles K. Aked, “Clock of Wisdom,” Clocks Magazine (February 1987): 25.
Location
Currently not on view
Object Name
Sundial
Measurements
overall: 17.3 cm x 9 cm x 5 cm; 6 13/16 in x 3 17/32 in x 1 31/32 in
ID Number
MA.322087
accession number
247031
catalog number
322087
subject
Mathematics
Timekeeping
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Mathematics
Science & Mathematics
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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