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On December 31, 1907, the first New Year’s Eve “ball drop” in Times Square took place in New York City

December 31, 2022

|Recurring Event (See all)

An event every year that begins at 12:00 am on of January, repeating indefinitely

On December 31, 1907, the first New Year’s Eve “ball drop” in Times Square took place in New York City. The first ball was tiny, but heavy – only 5 feet in diameter, but 700 pounds, it was carefully lowered down a flagpole by pulley. Unlike the modern ball, which is famously covered in Waterford crystal, the original ball was adorned with 100 light bulbs.

Did you know? Ball-dropping to mark time was not a new notion. In the 1830s, a ball was affixed to the top of the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, England – every day at 1 o’clock, the ball dropped to signal the time to nearby ships. Captains could accurately set their chronometers using this method.

These “time-balls” soon were used at locations around the world. Modern-day observers can still witness an active time-balls at the United States Naval Observatory in Washington, D.C.

 

Old man with a sphere, Gonzales Coques, c. 17th century

-Written by Anna Zemaitaitis, Communications and Design Officer

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Date:
December 31, 2022
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