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This sundial was made in 1833 for use at Liverpool Road Station in Manchester. This station was the Manchester terminus of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway, the world’s first purpose-built passenger and goods railway, which now makes up part of the Science and Industry Museum.
The sundial is an iconic object in our collection because not only was it part of the world’s first-ever passenger railway station, but it also tells a story about how the advent of the steam train fundamentally changed the way we thought about time. You can still visit the original first-class waiting room and booking office in the 1830 Station at the far end of the museum site—nowadays it’s very peaceful, but 150 years ago it was a major transport hub and would have been filled with the hustle and bustle of people going about their business.
This 3D scan was created in conjunction with the BBC as part of their Civilisations project. Read more about it here.