The ball drop in Times Square has a rich history behind it.
Each New Year’s Eve, a sea of people gather in New York City to watch the iconic ball drop from the top of One Times Square.
Over a billion people worldwide watch the ball drop — with over a million watching live from Times Square.
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Here are more fascinating facts about the special event.
Origins of a ceremonial ball drop
Holding a ceremonial ball drop to signify a specific moment in time actually dates back to the early 19th century. A time ball was installed at the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, England, in 1833, according to the Times Square official website.
The ball would drop every day at 1 o’clock, allowing nearby boats to synchronize their timing instruments.
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These time balls soon became common at naval academies and observatories and eventually made their way to the United States, according to the site.
The first ball drop in Times Square
The first Times Square ball drop took place in 1907, according to the website, but Times Square had become the focal point of the city’s New Year’s Eve celebrations starting in 1904.
The first ball was made of iron and wood. It weighed 700 pounds and was emblazoned with 100 25-watt bulbs, according to the website.
What two years did the ball not drop in Times Square?
Since 1907, the ball has not been dropped to commemorate the New Year twice: in 1942 and 1943, the site says. Both years’ celebrations were scaled back due to wartime limitations placed on New York City.
How many versions of the ball have been made?
There have been seven different versions of the ball designed, according to the website.
After the original, there was a 400-pound ball created that was made of wrought iron. This was later replaced by an aluminum ball in 1955 that weighed just 150 pounds, according to the source.
In the ’80s, for the “I Love New York” marketing campaign, the ball was decorated with red light bulbs and a green stem, the website says.
After this, the traditional white light bulbs returned.
A bit more technology was later introduced, with strobes and computer controls.
For 2000, the ball was completely redesigned, with even more technology added, according to the site.
It was 2007, the 100th anniversary of the ceremony, when the ball as we know it now was created. LED light technology was used, giving the ball a more modern and brighter appearance.
How big is the Times Square ball?
The ball that drops in Times Square weighs nearly 11,875 pounds and is 12 feet in diameter, according to the Times Square site.
It is made up of 2,688 crystal triangles and 32,256 illuminated LEDS.
Visitors can view the ball sitting high above Times Square throughout the year, although New Year’s Eve is when the spectacle can fully be experienced.
When does the ball start to drop on New Year’s Eve?
The ball begins to drop 10 seconds before midnight, when the big countdown into the New Year begins.
Leading up to the ball drop, there are musical performances and entertainment for the crowd in person and viewers at home.
Fox News Digital’s Angelica Stabile, as well as Michael Hollan, contributed to this report.
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