Last week, a project with a 130-year history culminated in the installation of a new sundial in the Morris House courtyard near Green Street, replacing the original sundial given by the Class of 1883 on its 40th reunion. Their gift replaced the initial Class of 1883 senior gift, an elm tree planted there, which had fallen victim to disease.

The new sundial project was taken up a couple years ago by a group of art and computer science students, who recreated the sundial’s image on paper, in clay and online, and finally as a three-dimensional plasticine model used for a new bronze cast sundial, which was installed last week by Suzan Edwards, professor of astronomy, and David Dempsey, associate director of museum services, Museum of Art.

 

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The new sundial, revived and re-created by the Class of 2010, was installed last week in the Morris House courtyard, atop a new granite pedestal.

Click on images below for larger views.

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The bronze sundial was cast from a plasticine model made by Makana Hiroshe ’10, based on the original.

The sundial's gnomon had to be aligned according to the transit of the sun, and was calibrated at the exact time that the sun would transit the meridian.

The sundial’s gnomon had to be aligned according to the transit of the sun, and was calibrated at the exact time that the sun would transit the meridian.

The new white granite pedestal, which replaces the original marble pedestal, was made by Granite Importers, of Vermont.

The new white granite pedestal, which replaces the original marble pedestal, was made by Granite Importers, of Vermont.

At precisely 12:46 p.m. on the day of calibration, Suzan Edwards created a plumb bob and marked the exact line of the shadow on the pedestal. The next day the sundial was affixed to the pedestal with the gnomon following the line traced along the transit of the sun.

At precisely 12:46 p.m. on the day of calibration, Suzan Edwards created a plumb bob and marked the exact line of the shadow on the pedestal. The next day the sundial was affixed to the pedestal with the gnomon following the line traced along the transit of the sun.

photos by David Dempsey