As we gear up to welcome in the New Year, it is good to stop and think about some of the facts that encompass this annual holiday. Among all of the traditions, New Year’s resolutions, and parties, have you ever wondered about the ball drop and its history?
Well, here is the journey of the iconic ball drop in Times Square straight from timessquarenyc.org.
The first Times Square New Year’s Eve Celebration was in 1904, but no ball was created yet. However, fireworks went off, and at midnight the crowd cheered so loudly that it was said to be heard thirty miles north. In 1907, the New Year’s Eve fireworks display was banned by the city, and this brought forth the first ball drop.
Ball #1, 1907 – The first New Year’s Eve ball was made of iron and wood, weighed 700 pounds, and was covered with 100 light bulbs.
Ball #2, 1920 – The second ball was made of iron and weighed 400 pounds.
Ball #3, 1955 – The next ball was made of aluminum, weighed 150 pounds, and was covered with 180 light bulbs.
Ball #4, 1995 – The aluminum ball got an upgrade of aluminum skin, rhinestones, and computer controls.
Ball #5, 1999 – This was the entry of the crystal New Year’s Eve ball to welcome in the millennium.
Ball #6, 2007 – The ball was once again upgraded in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the New Year’s Eve ball with LED technology to replace the light bulbs.
Ball #7, 2008 – The unveiling of the permanent big ball that sits atop Times Square year-round. It weighs 11,875 pounds and is 12 feet in diameter, with an aluminum frame underneath the 2,688 Waterford Crystal triangles.
The ball has been lowered every year except for two: 1942 and 1943. These were the years of the wartime “dimout” of lights in New York City. Still, crowds gathered in the iconic square to welcome in the New Year with a minute of silence before ringing of chimes sounded to bring in the New Year.
Over one million individuals gather in Times Square on New Year’s Eve to watch the ball drop. In addition, over one billion individuals watch on TV around the world, making this a worldwide celebration. So as you welcome in the New Year this year, just remember the journey it has taken to get to this point today.