When you really think about it, watching a bejeweled orb descend a pole is quite a strange way to ring in the coming of the new year. And yet, New York’s Times Square ball drop and the numerous others like it around the world attract countless spectators every year, cementing it as a time-honored tradition.
But what are the origins of this tradition? As it turns out, the actual history of these “time balls” goes back even further and far beyond simple celebration. In fact, time balls are a fascinating footnote in the longstanding tradition of public timekeeping.
To learn more about their interesting history, check out an article we ran a year back—Time Balls: the Horological Origins of the New Year’s Ball Drop. Happy New Year!