As the clock nears midnight on December 31, people from around the world focus on the New Year’s Eve celebration in Times Square.
The countdown to the New Year gives everyone a chance to say goodbye to the past year and usher in a new year full of possibilities. However, did you know that revelers began celebrating New Year's Eve in Times Square as early as 1904?
Before ringing in 2019, here are ten fast facts about the New Year’s Eve ball drop and its history.
1. The first rooftop celebration atop One Times Square, a fireworks display, took place in 1904 and was produced by The New York Times to inaugurate their new headquarters in Times Square. The first New Year’s Eve Ball lowering celebration atop One Times Square was in 1907.
2. The first Ball was made of iron and wood, weighed 700 pounds, and was covered with 100 light bulbs. It was built by a young immigrant metalworker named Jacob Starr.
3. Since 1907, seven versions of the Ball have been designed to signal the New Year.
4. Today, the Ball is 12 feet in diameter and weighs 11,875 pounds.
5. The Ball is covered with a total of 2,688 Waterford Crystal triangles that vary in size, and range in length from 4 ¾ inches to 5 ¾ inches per side.
6. The Ball can display a palette of more than 16 million vibrant colors and billions of patterns that create a spectacular kaleidoscope effect.
7. From 1942 to 1943, the annual ceremony was suspended due to wartime "dimout" of lights in New York City. Crowds still gathered and had a minute of silence at midnight followed by chimes ringing out from sound trucks in Times Square.
8. This year, the numeral “2-0-1-9” will stand 7-feet high and use a total of 516 9-watt energy efficient LED bulbs.
9. New Year's novelty eyeglasses in the numerical shape of the coming were invented and patented by Richard Sclafani and Peter Cicero in 1990, although other companies have produced similar versions.
10. More than 1 ton of confetti is dropped in Times Square during the New Year's Eve celebration.
(Photo Credit: Ian Hardy/iMedia Networks for Countdown Entertainment)