Martin Bernhardt (4.6.1919 - 1.28.2001)

The image of the swabian tinkerer is well known; at the beginning hardly taken note of by his surroundings, then finding applause and recognition by his productions created with cleverness and industriousness. Martin Bernhardt can be considered an embodiment of this image: What newcomer to the workgroup "German Society for Chronometry" could have imagined that this reticent, friendly and unmistakably Swabian-speaking man would become probably the only sundial constructor whose name is known throughout the world by sundial enthusiasts? This is due above all to the precision sundials that he designed and built, of which approximately onehundredfifty specimens are set-up in public places, parks or on various buildings.

Ever since the international contest sponsored by "Sky and Telescope" magazine in 1966, the Bernhardt sundial has been considered to be the optimal solution for the problem of determining the local zone time by means of a sundial with an accuracy below a minute. The ingenious details of the construction have been very much awed and described, as can also be seen in the GSC yearbook. As an active founding member of the sundial workgroup, the late Mr. Bernhardt promoted this technology by giving discourses, making contributions to yearbooks and building beautiful wall sundials, as well as by restoring significantly historical specimens such as in the Banz monastery. He was elected member of honor of the sundial workgroup in 1995.

As an engineer, he naturally occupied himself in his free time with scientific or technical things, but beyond that he was musically gifted, singing in the church choir and conducting it for a period of time in his home city of Freudenstadt, as well as being very good at the violin and the cello. How tragic it was that he could not dedicate his final years to these activities because of a severe illness.