The most famous ball in America will make it's decent into Times Square this December, ringing in more than just another "Happy New Year"! among fellow Americans. While it may be the largest New Year's Eve Ball ever to grace New York City. It may also be the most eco-friendly ball as well. The new ball is 20% more energy efficient than the previous one, which will make it a sure crowd pleaser for the many Americans who are becoming more eco-conscious. At 12 feet across and 11,875 pounds, the ball will be the largest ball to drop in Times Square since the beginning of the tradition. It also contains 2,668 Waterford Crystals and 32,256 LED's, which make the ball capable of producing more than 16 million colors and several billion patterns. It will be the most beautiful and breathtaking New Year's Eve Ball to date. But where did the idea for the ball come from? Who started this tradition, and when was the Waterford Crystal introduced into this famous past time?
|the ball from 1978|
The History of the New Year's Eve Ball and the Waterford Crystal
In 1907, Jacob Starr created a giant ball combining wood, iron, and one hundred 25 watt light bulbs. The New Year's Eve Ball would become known as one of the most famous tributes tot he New Year in American history. Weighing in at 700 pounds and stretching 5 feet across, the new tradition was born. The first ball was used every year until 1920, when it was replaced with a 400 pound wrought iron ball. From the twenties to the mid fifties the ball remained unchanged.
Unfortunately, during World War II, the New Year's Eve Ball did not make its usual descent to earth. In 1942 and 1943, the ball remained unlit in fear of war time enemies attacking. However, in 1944, the famous New Yorker returned to it's beloved place high atop Times Square.
In 1955, the ball was replaced yet again for a third time to a smaller, 200 pound aluminum ball. While the ball was lighter in weight, it was no less famous and no less elegant, and this ball reigned until the 1980's.
1981 brought a new decade for the ball, while the original ball itself was not actually replaced, the light bulbs, were replaced with red ones. The pole from which the famous ball dropped was painted green-all of this was done to simulate a "Big Apple". This was being done to promote the "I Love New York" campaign-more famously known today as the "I heart NY T-shirts, coffee mugs and so forth that we see today. The ball was returned to its famous bright white bulbs in 1989, at the end of the campaign.
Aside from a few colored light bulbs and a new paint job, the New Year's Eve Ball remained the same for 40 years. In 1995, the ball was all but brought into the new century. It was updated to an aluminum skin with strobe lights, rhinestone gems and more-all generated by computers. This was also the beginning of the true Waterford Crystal that we know and love today.
For the millennium, the ball was completely designed. Aside from the ball that will grace New York's Time Square this December, the ball form weighed in at over 1,000 pounds-making it the largest in both weight and width (at 6 feet across). It contained a mixture of 168 halogen bulbs and 432 light bulbs of red, green, blue, yellow and white-which were all used in different "Hope" campaign themes.
This famous New Yorker has been around for over 100 years and will be making its drop from 475 feet above Times Square.