Schmoyer Sunquest Sundial

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The Schmoyer Sunquest is an equatorial sundial designed by industrial designer Richard Schmoyer of Landisville Pennsylvania around 1959 (for his original 23 page instruction booklet in Word format, click here). It reads civil time due to a clever analemma design of the gnomon. From summer solstice to winter solstice the time is cast by a beam of light passing through the half-analemma on one side of the gnomon, and from winter solstice to summer solstice the time is cast from a half-analemma on the other side of the gnomon. For an exerpt of an article describing this in more detail from Scientific American, October 1959, click here. The dial is 15 inches in diameter, and 18 inches tall. It is machined and engraved from sand castings made from Mr. Schmoyer's original wooden patterns. It is available in marine grade aluminum-magnesium alloy, or in statuary silicon bronze. It is shown here without painted trim (trim option shown below), and on small square base.

To read time, the gnomon is rotated until the light beam forms a narrow slit. Dial is generally accurate to within 5 minutes.
This is a well thought out, technical dial. Near the summer and winter solstices, the gnomon requires an additional adjustment based on the date. This was to "stretch out" the flat portion of the analemma near the solstices, so that the gnomon can pass a beam of light that falls more perpendicularly across the time scale, enhancing readability.
The dial is adjusts for Standard and Daylight Saving time. The time scale can be loosened and advanced or retarded by one hour depending on which side this adjuster is referenced (Standard Time in this photo). The user's longitude is initially fixed by a one-time setting of the adjuster to mean solar noon (mean solar noon is readily determined from the longitude, as explained in the owner's manual. Solar noon in this photo is set to 12:08).
The dial is easily set to the user's latitude, shown here in Bronze at 43 degrees.
Here is Dial in Aluminum with Blue/Red lettering, Red Trim and Large Base. Each dial is supplied with a small square base without Motto, and a large round base (12") with Motto.
Here is Dial in Bronze with Ivory lettering, Gold Trim and Large Base.
Inscription on Large Base reads "After Every Storm - The Sun. For Every Life - A purpose. To Every Problem - A Solution. Sunquest".


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