(NEW YORK) — Before there was a New Year’s ball drop at Times Square in New York City, there were fireworks. Real ones, according to USA Today.
It all started in 1904 when The New York Times opened its new building at the intersection of 7th Avenue, Broadway and 42nd Street. And yes, Times Square is named after the newspaper.
The fireworks were actually lit by Times editor Adolph Ochs to the oohs and ahhs of those gathered to see in 1905 but alas, the tradition was short-lived as the city banned firework displays in the middle of Manhattan two years later.
However, this led to tradition of the ball drop with the first ball constructed of 700 pounds of iron and wood.
Today, the Waterford Crystal Times Square New Year’s Eve Ball is the star attraction, 12 feet in diameter and weighing 11,875 pounds. The ball is also covered with a total of 2,688 Waterford Crystal triangles, according to the non-profit Times Square Alliance.
Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio
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