When Adolph Ochs got the floundering New York Times in 1896, he got himself on a mission to make that newspaper the number one paper of New York City. Adolph Ochs started by forming the New- York Times Company and made himself the majority owner, ensuring the financial health condition of the newspaper. Afterward, he lowered the price of the daily edition of the newspaper from three cents to one cent. This resulted in an increase of newspaper readers across New York. He moved his entire staff to a shiny new building in the middle of Manhattan, which was later, renamed Times Square.
Birth of Time Square New Year Eve
Adolph Ochs was a man of fine tastes and great imaginations. To celebrate the New Year of the year 1904, Adolph Ochs threw a lavish New Year celebration party, at that time it was a “talk of the town.” Ochs hosted street festival throughout the day, climaxing with a midnight firework display from the base of the Time building. Around 200,000 attendees could be heard from as far away as Croton-on-Hudson, which is thirty miles north. With this, the Time Square New Year’s Eve bash took birth.
The city later pushes a kibosh on the fireworks display, but Adolph Ochs still found a new way, New Yorkers could celebrate in coming years in style and under glorious lights. In 1907, Adolph commissioned the Time Square building of an electrically-lit ball to be lowered on the flagpole of the roof of One Time Square. The head electrician of the newspaper company suggested it as “time ball.” Time balls had been one of the best ways to broadcast the time to sea travelers in the 19th century. Inventor Robert Wauchope built the ball first-time in 1829.
This innovation appealed to Ochs, and later he fashioned his New Year’s Eve ball with hundred 25-watt light bulbs. Other then lights, the rest of the ball was made out of iron and wood. The ball was only 5 meters in diameter, but it weighed nearly 700 pounds. The New Year’s Eve Ball’s construction mimicked the history of industry in the United States over time. In the year 1920, they replaced the original ball with one made solely out of iron, showing off the United States’ steel strength.
In 1955, the heavy ball was replaced by a much lighter aluminum ball weighing around a hundred pounds. To make it more effective, strobe lights and a computerized lighting system were added to the ball in 1995. Today, the New Year’s Eve Ball is 12 feet in diameter, which is more than double the size of the original one in 1907. The new ball weighs around five metric tons, and features LED lights and computerized lighting patterns. The ball sits on the top of One Times Square.
So, this post was all about the New Year’s Eve ball and Time Square New Year celebration. The celebration was started by Adolph Ochs, who was the founder of the New York Times.