The story behind the Times Square New Year’s Eve extravaganza and the famous ball
When you have not one but two “ball cams,” you know you have hit the big time. New Year’s Eve and New York City have become synonymous with the holiday. And of course, there’s…THE BALL! The ball has become its own sort of celebrity and has become so popular, it has its own website where you can learn all about its life story and also creep on it live, even right at this moment!
How did the Times Square New Year’s Eve extravaganza start? “When the New York Times made their move from the Financial District up to 42nd St (and got the area renamed Times Square in their honor), they wanted to have a big celebration on New Year’s Eve to commemorate their move uptown.” The first New Year’s Eve celebration at Times Square was held in 1904.
The first ball was introduced to Times Square in 1907 as a replacement for fireworks that were used in prior years. ABC7 News reports, “The concept of dropping a ball to mark time dates back to the mid-1800s in England. One of the earliest time-balls was the one atop the Flamsteed House of the Greenwich Observatory along the River Thames. Starting in 1833, it was lowered every day at exactly 1 p.m. to signal the time to sailors and Londoners who could not afford clocks and watches.”
Today, the famous ball is made of Waterford® Crystals and boasts the capability of displaying millions of color emissions and flashing billions of kaleidoscopic patterns. Even the giant numbers designating the new year are famous; they recently had their own selfie photo opp!
If you are asking yourself…exactly how do the old-timers stack up against the new, you are in luck, because we have the players’ stats for you:
Height: 5 feet
Weight: 700 pounds
[High]lights: 100 bulbs
Original fan base in attendance: 200,000
Career years active: 1907-1919
Height: 12 feet
Weight: 11,875 pounds (nearly 6 tons)
[High]lights: 32,256 LED diodes
Projected fan base in attendance: 2 million
Career years active: 2008-current
Height: 7 feet
[High]lights: 618 9-watt energy-efficient LED bulbs*
*145 bulbs for each “2” and 164 bulbs for each “0”
Career years active: