The surprising reason Americans drop a ball on New Year's Eve
- The dropping of the New Year's Eve ball in Times Square in
New York Cityhas been a tradition for over 100 years.
- We spoke with the agent for the ball, Jeffrey Straus, and climbed to the top of One
Times Squareto find out why millions join together on December 31 to watch a lighted ball drop down a pole.
Following is a transcript of the
Based on a 19th-century maritime
Lightbulbs, a new technology at the time, were used to create a lighted time ball. It would drop over Times Square for the first time on New Year's Eve 1907.
That first ball was six feet in diameter, made of iron and wood, weighed 700 pounds, and contained 100 lightbulbs. The tradition has continued ever since.
There have been seven different versions of the ball.
The one we use today was introduced in 2008. It's 12 feet in diameter, weighs 11,875 pounds, contains 2,688 Waterford crystals, and 32,256 LED lights. It's the largest crystal ball in the world.
It can produce 16 million colors and billions of patterns. The LED lights make it more energy efficient so it can now stay lit year-round.
EDITOR'S NOTE: This video was originally published in December 2015.
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