Adolph S. Ochs, The chief of the New York Times, always had elaborate New Years Eve parties. Ochs would set off fireworks from the New York Time’s building headquarters. People flocked from everywhere to this Broadway and 42nd Street junction to watch the fireworks.
The crowds grew larger every year and ultimately this fireworks display was banned in 1908. This didn't stop the publisher from doing what he does and how he wanted to cook up a new idea to have the area in front of his building renamed Times Square.
The Western Union building had a metal ball which was dropped to signify noon. People in the city were always intrigued to see if the ball dropped or not. It was such a spectacle whenever there was a malfunction that it made headlines in the newspapers.
Ochs decided to light the 700-pound ball with multiple bulbs. As the people cheered and recited the countdown for New Year, the ball was lowered by workers using ropes. At the stroke of midnight of 1908, it was lit up!
This event and this particular moment in the event got the crowd gathered in Times Square really excited. People cheered, honked horns, whistled, and made every kind of reaction you can imagine when the ball was dropped.
The time ball was originally designed to help sea captain's navigate their ships and to calibrate the Marine chronometers. The ball was dropped to let them know the precise time of noon. This is how Times Square became the centre of the annual New Year’s Eve party and the ball-drop became an iconic event to look forward to.