The Info List - Carefree Sundial

The Carefree Sundial, in Carefree, Arizona, was designed by architect Joe Wong and solar engineer John I. Yellott (1908-1986),[1] was erected in the Sundial Circle plaza in 1959. The sundial is made from a steel frame and covered in anodized copper. As originally designed the 1200mm wide gnomon acted as a heat collecting plate for a local heating scheme. It measures 90 feet (27 m) in diameter. The metal gnomon, the shadow-casting portion of the dial, stands 35 feet (11 m) above the plaza and extends 62 feet (19 m).[2][3] Local apparent time is 27.7 minutes behind the meridian time which here is Mountain Standard Time. The hour markers are adjusted accordingly.


1 Description 2 Disputed claims 3 Gallery 4 References

Description[edit] The Carefree sundial was conceived and constructed by John Yellott of Phoenix, Arizona, the architect was Joe Wong. The dial's gnomon is 4 feet (1.2 m) wide and 62 feet (19 m) feet long, rising 35 feet (11 m) above Solar Plaza. It is encircled by cacti and stones surrounding a reflecting pool with golden lines and concrete Roman numerals to mark the time. Once it was visible from 3 kilometres (1.9 mi) but a shopping-centre has developed around it, obscuring the view. The hour-lines are offset to account for plaza's longitude, 6° 35' 36" west of the Mountain Standard Time meridian, 105° west. The gnomon served an ancillary purpose- designed to absorb solar energy which was converted into heat by three copper tubes, which pumped the heated water into a local heating system for a neighbouring office block. To facilitate the absorption the top 52 feet (16 m) of the gnomon's length is coated with a special paint. A smaller 1/48 scale model is on site along with an equation of time table. [4] Disputed claims[edit] Various communities have made "the largest sundial in" claims. In 1913 the sundial in Ingleside Terraces, San Francisco was claimed to be the largest in the world,[5][a] ignoring the existence of the dials at Jaipur. It had a dial diameter of 35 feet (11 m). There is even a larger one (78 feet (24 m)) at Hunters Point in San Francisco.[7] The Carefree claim is disputed by Sun City, Arizona who have repaired their competing dial which is built from a 64 feet (20 m)steel I-bar.[8][3] Gallery[edit]

Carefree Sundial

the Carefree Sundial during a town activity 

Carefree Sundial at 2 P.M. in early May 

Detail of the 12 o'clock marker with fountain repairman. 

Kiwanis sign 

Detail of the 7 o'clock marker 



^ The dial has quite a history, it was built as a marketing device for a residential estate on the former motor-racing circuit. It was popular with local children who dared each other to run to the top ,and slide down forwards.[6]


^ bigwatse.com; see Passive Solar Journal, Vol. 4, No. 3, 1987 (John Yellott Memorial Issue) for Yellott's biography. ^ N. America Sundials Society ^ a b "Selected Sundials of Arizona". North American Sundial Society. Retrieved 28 November 2015.  ^ Sawyer, Fred (February 1994). "Carefree and Sun City Arizona". Compendium. Glastonbury, Ct 06033: North American Sundial Society. 1 (1): 5–6.  ^ Pellisier, Hank (12 February 2012). "Giant Sundial: Ingleside Terraces". New York Times. Retrieved 28 November 2015.  ^ Outsidelands ^ [1] ^ You