The New Year's Eve Ball in Time's Square
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The New Year's Eve Ball in Time's Square

The New Year's Eve Ball in Time's Square in New York is an interesting historical icon. The New Year's Eve Ball is dropping again in 2012!

The Times Square Ball that is dropped every year on New Year’s Eve is an icon for casting out the old and ringing in the new, the passage of time and turning the page. The Time’s Square Ball began when the owner of The New York Times, Adolph Ochs, wanted to celebrate the opening of the newspaper's new headquarters at One Times Square with a fireworks display on December 31, 1903 at midnight. In 1907 Walter Palmer, the head electrician for The New York Times, built a ball that was lit with electricity. It was made of iron and wood, it had 100 25 watt light bulbs, weighed 700 lbs and was 5’ in diameter. It was dropped from a flagpole on December 31, 1907 at 11:59 PM EST and dropped 77’ in one minute.

The second ball was dropped in 1920. It was made of iron and weighed 400 lbs. It was dropped every year until 1954, however; the ball wasn’t dropped during WWII in 1942 and 1943 because of lighting restrictions. The third ball was dropped in 1955. It was made of aluminum and was the lightest ball in history coming in at a weight of 150 lbs. In 1995 it was overhauled with rhinestones and computerized strobe lights. In 1999 a new ball was dropped that weighed 1,070 lbs and measured 6’ in diameter, it consisted of 504 Waterford crystal triangles, 168 external light bulbs, 432 internal multi-colored bulbs, strobe lights and spinning mirrors. A duplicate was made and is on display at the Waterford Crystal Factory in Ireland.

For the 100th anniversary in 2008 Waterford made a ball that would only be dropped once. It was 6’ in diameter, it weighs 1,212 lbs, is made up of LED lights and has 9,567 bulbs. After it was dropped it was put on display at Macy’s in Herald Square. The 6th ball was dropped in 2009 and is an icosahedra (a three-dimensional geometric figure formed of 20 sides or faces) geodesic ball measuring 12’, weighing in at an unbelievable 11, 875 lbs and it has 32, 256 LEDs allowing it to have patterns in a wide range of colors and sentences such as “Happy New Year 2012” on it and 2011's theme is "Let There Be Friendship". The flagpole was rebuilt and the New Year’s Eve Ball drops a phenomenal 475’.

Now if you’re wondering what this beautiful ball costs no one is telling. It was donated by Waterford to the city of New York.  To give you a very miniscule idea, one 2012 New Year’s Ball replica tree ornament that measures 6” sold by Waterford in Ireland costs $75.00, and that’s with no lights!

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