Did you know?

Thousands of people congregate in Times Square every year to watch the ball drop on New Year‘s Eve. Millions more around the world watch the event on television. This world famous tradition dates back to 1904, when the New York Times relocated to what was then known as Longacre Square. The paper convinced the city to rename the area in its honor, and the area was soon deemed “Times Square.” At the end of his newspaper’s first year in its new location, Times owner Adolph Ochs held a large bash, complete with fireworks and other festivities. The party became a year-end tradition. But a few years later fireworks were banned by city officials, so the Times had to come up with another spectacle for its party. They hired Jacob Starr to build a wood-and-iron ball that weighed 700 pounds and was illuminated with 100 25-watt light bulbs. Sign maker Artkraft Strauss was responsible for lowering the ball, which slowly descended from a special flagpole at midnight on NewYear‘s Eve,marking the beginning of the ball-dropping tradition. The Times Square illuminated ball was lowered almost every year since then, except in observance of wartime blackouts in 1942 and 1943. This iconic NewYear‘s symbol has been redesigned seven times through the years. The ball is now 12 feet in diameter and weighs nearly 12,000 pounds – about the same as four compact cars combined. The ball is covered in 2,688 Waterford Crystal triangles that vary in size and is illuminated by 32,256 Philips Luxeon Rebel LEDs. The Times Square ball is capable of producing a palette of more than 16 million vibrant colors and billions of patterns and now stands as a permanent fixture atop One Times Square.