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brand-new Year's celebrations originally took location at Trinity Church. brand-new York publicly Library

Prior to the 1900s, Americans celebrated the new year by gathering external Trinity Church near wall Street in Manhattan. When the clock to win midnight, bells would chime and people celebrated the new year ~ above the steps of the church. The church"s bells would "ring the end the old, ring in the new."

Everything changed when The new York Times agency moved uptown come 46th Street and Broadway. Together a method to lure more people uptown, the firm started a fireworks display screen on new Year"s Eve.

You are watching: How long has the ball dropped in times square


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The an initial ball reduce in times Square in 1907. Library of conference

Times Square was becoming a famous place for brand-new Year"s eve celebrations. Yet when fireworks to be banned in 1907, publisher Adolph Ochs had actually to come up with a new plan. He made decision to usage a maritime heritage of timekeeping, which requires dropping a round at a specific time to aid mariners understand their time and also location.

Times Square"s an initial ball — which was made indigenous iron and also wood — measure 5 feet in diameter and also weighed a chuck 700 pounds. An immigrant metalworker named Jacob Starr draft the ball and also adorned it v 100 light bulbs. Starr"s agency Artkraft Strauss was in charge the lowering the sphere at the stroke of midnight with sophisticated pulley system. When it dropped because that the very first time in 1907, it began a heritage that tho happens end 100 years later.


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time Square in 1921. brand-new York publicly Library

At the start of the roaring "20s, a less heavy ball changed the initial iron and also wood one. The brand-new ball weighed 400 pounds and was made of wrought iron, follow to the time Square Alliance.


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brand-new York hosted a wartime "dim-out" in 1942. Tom Fitzsimmons/ AP

The ball has dropped every year since 1907 other than for 1942 and also 1943. At the time, the country was fighting in world War II and brand-new York City participated in a "dim-out" to defend the city native air and also naval attacks. On brand-new Year"s Eve, world still gathered in times Square however instead rang chimes.


Russ Brown, superintendent the One time Square, in front of the aluminum ball. AP

The new ball do of aluminum was only 150 pounds — the lightest that has ever weighed.


The sphere was turned right into an to apologize in 1981. AP

The aluminum ball was affixed v red light bulbs and also a environment-friendly stem come resemble an apple in 1981. The new ball was part of an "I Love new York" marketing campaign. For 7 years till 1988, people celebrated by the town hall the apologize drop native the time Tower.


The ball in 1995. Bebeto Matthews/ AP

The traditional aluminum white ball reverted in 1989. By 1995, the round was adorned v an aluminum skin, rhinestones, and strobes. Probably the most vital upgrade to be the addition of computer controls the lowered the round come midnight. The aluminum round dropped because that the last time 1998.


At the rotate of the century, the times Square ball was fully transformed and redesigned using crystals.


time Square ball in 2000 is adorned through crystals. Lynsey Addario/ AP

To celebrate the new millennium in 2000, the sphere was redesigned through Waterford Crystal and also Philips Lighting. The new ball to be decorated v crystals and also lighting the lit increase the night skies to celebrate the brand-new year.


The ball was offered LED lights in 2007. Tina Fineberg/ AP

New Year"s night 2007 significant 100 years due to the fact that the an initial ball dropped, for this reason a brand-new ball was produced to celebrate the anniversary. Waterford Crystal and Philips lighting designed the ball again however this time through LED lights. The irradiate bulbs that were provided on all the other versions were retired and replaced through LED lighting that could change colors and also dazzle audiences from afar. The was referred to as the Centennial Ball and is still supplied today.


This year's ball obtaining a facelift. Anadolu agency / Getty

This year, time Square will be close up door to the public on new Year"s Eve because of the coronavirus pandemic. However, the ball will still be the star of the show.

See more: Does It Matter How Many Candles On Birthday Cake Come From? Just A Moment

Today"s ball weighs 11,875 pounds and is 12 feet in diameter. It is extended in 2,688 Waterford Crystals, 32,256 LED lights, and also displays 16 million colorful colors.