Other NJ News

Original 1907 Times Square Ball Has Direct Link to New Jersey

4d32a97cf1505d8dca5f_sompixnyctimessquareballvintage.jpg
This is the second generation Times Square Ball, which replaced Palmer's 1907 design, shown in the 1940s; it was replaced by the third-generation design in 1955. Credits: New York Public Library
4d32a97cf1505d8dca5f_sompixnyctimessquareballvintage.jpg

NEW YORK – Walter Fuhrman Palmer, the head electrician at the venerable New York Times newspaper more than 100 years ago, helped to create a legacy shared by tens of millions of people who have jammed Times Square on New Year’s Eve to celebrate the traditional countdown to the New Year.

Palmer, who lived in Warren, NJ, designed the first giant sphere to drop on Times Square, the beginning of a tradition that will celebrate its 110th anniversary this New Year’s Eve, according to his great nephew, Somerset County Freeholder Director Peter Palmer.

The 80-year-old freeholder director, who is retiring after a 55-year career in elective office Jan. 5, never spoke directly with his great uncle about his design, but it was common knowledge within the family.

Sign Up for E-News

“Walter’s nephew was my grandfather, I saw him at family functions a number of times,” Palmer recalls.

One of the last times Palmer saw his great uncle was at his grandparents’ 50th wedding anniversary..

“I was a teenager at the time, and he was in his 80s,” Palmer said.

The ball designed by Palmer was made of iron and wood and weighed 700 pounds and was five feet in diameter; its surface was a weave of wires and sockets, lit by 100 25-watt bulbs. It was built according to Palmer's specifications by a young immigrant metalworker named Jacob Starr, and for most of the 20th century the company he founded, sign maker Artkraft Strauss, was responsible for lowering the ball.

At midnight, Dec. 31, 1907, Palmer's New Year's Eve ball made its maiden descent, lowered by a crew of six men using pulleys attached to the re-purposed mainmast of a United States battleship.

Palmer doesn’t know for certain whether his great uncle was there to watch his creation launch the New Year, but his guess is that he was.

“The great shout that went up drowned out the whistles for a minute,” the New York Times reported at the time. “The vocal power of the welcomers rose above even the horns and the cow bells and the rattles. Above all else came the wild human hullabaloo of noise.”

The New York Times had constructed the building at One Times Square as its headquarters in 1904, and staged a massive New Year's Eve fireworks display to celebrate its opening. The newspaper’s owner, Adolph Ochs so enjoyed the spectacle that he followed up in 1905 and 1906, but in 1907, the New York City Police Department banned fireworks.

Ochs turned to Palmer to come up with an alternative.   

Palmer's idea came from an old maritime tradition – time balls. When standard time was created in the 1800's, sailors used what were called time balls to adjust their chronometers, or timepieces, while at sea. Using telescopes, they would watch for these time balls onshore to drop (typically around noon or 1 p.m.  and adjust accordingly. The first time ball to be installed in United States was in 1845 at the Naval Observatory in Washington.

Palmer died March 7, 1956 at Muhlenberg Hospital in Plainfield; his claim to fame was mentioned prominently in his obituary in the New York Times. He was 88.

The headline read: "WALTER PALMER, ELECTRICIAN, 88; Retired Department Head for The Times Dies--Directed Moving Sign Installation."

Though the tradition helped launched by Palmer continues, much has changed over the past 110 years.

“What Walter created is like comparing a Model T to a modern day sports car,” Palmer said.

The newspaper sold the building just 10 years after it opened; current owner Jamestown Properties has owned One Times Square since 1997. Today, the 25-story building is a massive electronic billboard, generating millions in advertising revenue for its owner.

The New Year's Eve ball has gone through seven re-designs in its history.

In 1920, a 400-pound ball made entirely of wrought iron replaced the original. In 1955, the iron ball was replaced with an aluminum ball weighing a mere 150 pounds. This aluminum ball remained unchanged until the 1980s, when red light bulbs and the addition of a green stem converted the ball into an apple for the "I Love New York" marketing campaign from 1981 until 1988. After seven years, the traditional glowing white ball with white light bulbs and without the green stem returned to light the sky above Times Square. In 1995, the ball was upgraded with aluminum skin, rhinestones, strobes, and computer controls, but the aluminum ball was lowered for the last time in 1998, according to the Time Square New York website.

For Times Square 2000, the millennium celebration at the Crossroads of the World, the New Year's Eve ball was completely redesigned by Waterford Crystal and Philips Lighting. The crystal ball combined the latest in lighting technology with the most traditional of materials.

In 2007, for the 100th anniversary of the Times Square Ball Drop tradition, Waterford Crystal and Philips Lighting crafted a new LED crystal ball. The incandescent and halogen bulbs of the past century were replaced by state-of-the-art  LED lighting technology that dramatically increased the brightness and color capabilities of the ball.

The seventh-generation ball weighs nearly six tons and is 12 feet in diameter, more than double Palmer's original design. 

The following information is provided by the Times Square New York website:

·  The ball is a geodesic sphere and weighs 11,875 pounds.

·  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.

·  For Times Square 2018, 288 of the Waterford triangles introduce the new Gift of Serenity design which is a pattern of cuts resembling butterflies flying peacefully above a meadow, capturing the spirit of serenity.

·   288 are the Gift of Kindness design consisting of a circle of rosettes symbolizing unity with the fronds reaching out in an expression of kindness.

·   288 are the Gift Of Wonder design composed by a faceted starburst inspiring our sense of wonder.

·   288 are the Gift of Fortitude design of diamond cuts on either side of a crystal pillar to represent the inner attributes of resolve, courage and spirit necessary to triumph over adversity.

·   The remaining 1,536 crystal triangles are the Gift of Imagination design with a series of intricate wedge cuts that are mirrored reflections of each other.

·  The 2,688 Waterford Crystal triangles are bolted to 672 LED modules which are attached to the aluminum frame of the ball.

·  The ball is illuminated by 32,256 LEDs (light emitting diodes). Each LED module contains 48 LEDs - 12 red, 12 blue, 12 green, and 12 white for a total of 8,064 of each color.

·  The Ball is capable of displaying a palette of more than 16 million vibrant colors and billions of patterns that creates a spectacular kaleidoscope effect atop One Times Square.

·  This Big Times Square New Year's Eve Ball is now a year-round attraction sparkling above Times Square  in full public view January through December.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

Sign Up for E-News

SOMA

Women's March Wear at Sadie's

Many are gathering this weekend and heading into New York City or over to Morristown to show their support for the Women's March 2018.

Sadie's is offering a few tee shirt options to show your support while marching as well as with your purchase.

The "Nasty Woman" shirt donates to Planned Parenthood and the "I Believe in Science" donates to the Sierra Club." ...

New Year New You

Take on 2018 with a new look! Stop by Sadie's and try on a sweater whose company will take a pound of trash out of the ocean with every purchase. Maybe accompany that sweater with a bracelet that helps feed children. It is a new year, get a new philanthropic look to help your resolutions go from being a goal to being an achievement.

Horoscope: As Capricorn enters your ozone, listen ...

School Freeze Is Not New, And Not Acceptable

Another cold snap and apparently another string of cold classrooms.

Last week, many classes at Columbia High School -- and other schools -- saw frigid temperatures when the cold outside dropped to single digits on several days.

The snow helped a bit by closing schools last Thursday and Friday, although the Friday closing was originally a delayed opening and later switched ...

AtlantiCast

AtlantiCast: Episode 010

On this week’s AtlantiCast, we take you to the groundbreaking for an expansion to Morristown Medical Center, introduce you to the newest babies of 2018 at Atlantic Health System and share some must-see winter weather tips!

 

South Orange Police Blotter - Two Arrests Reported

January 13, 2018

South Orange Police Blotter as of January 13

Adult Arrest CDS - Benjamin Orgera, an 18 year old South Orange resident was arrested on Sunday, Jan. 7, at approximately 10:20 p.m. for possession of CDS (marijuana). Officers stopped an auto for a motor vehicle violation near the intersection of Ridgewood Rd & Redmond Rd. During the traffic stop, officers determined that the driver ...

South Orange Police Blotter - Two Auto Thefts Reported

South Orange Police Blotter as of January 8

Auto Theft - A West End Rd resident reported that sometime between 12:30 a.m. and 8:30 a.m., Thursday, Dec. 28, actor(s) unknown stole his vehicle (2013 Honda), which was parked in his driveway at the time.

Auto Theft - A Montclair resident and South Orange business owner reported that on Tuesday, Jan. 2, at approximately 6:20 ...

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Observance in SOMA; Luminary Photos

January 17, 2018

MAPLEWOOD AND SOUTH ORANGE, NJ - The South Orange/Maplewood Community Coalition on Race held their 17th annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Observance, with an interfaith service at 2 p.m., followed by a volunteer fair at 3:30 p.m. at Columbia High School, and an evening MLK Luminary Lighting Ceremony at Maplewood Town Hall and in Spiotta Park in South Orange.

In addition, ...

Harlem Wizards Play Maplewood Teachers and Town Officials at 'Family Night' on Jan. 29

MAPLEWOOD, NJ - The Maplewood Recreation Department is hosting a night of trick hoops and alley oops on Monday, Jan. 29, at Maplewood Middle School.

Two members of the Harlem Wizards will be playing with Maplewood teachers and other town officials at Maplewood “Family Night,"according to an email from Maplewood Recreation.

You may go ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_982bc8344531b1a37c85_par_440

Fri, January 19, 7:00 PM

Par 440 Restaurant & Lounge, Short Hills

The Extra Rich In Class Dinner Show with E.R.I.C.

Arts & Entertainment Food & Drink

Carousel_image_af1b89eae735bf536426_par440_promo

Fri, January 19, 7:00 PM

Par 440 Restaurant & Lounge, Short Hills

The Extra Rich In Class Dinner Show with E.R.I.C.

Arts & Entertainment Food & Drink

Sat, January 20, 12:30 AM

Clark Public Library, Clark

North Jersey Aquarium Society Monthly Saturday ...

Home & Garden

Sun, January 21, 11:00 AM

The Ethical Culture Society of Essex County, Maplewood

Amy Blake and Moki Kokoris: Family Ethical ...

Education

Newark Makes the Short List for Amazon's next HQ2

January 19, 2018

NEWARK, NJ--Newark has been named as one of 20 finalists to host Amazon’s next headquarters in North America.

Amazon announced the short-listed cities on Thursday.

Other cities that made the cut include Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Chicago, Columbus, Dallas, Denver, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Miami, Montgomery County, ...

Millburn Teen Gives Laptops New Life for Charity

MILLBURN, NJ — A junior at Millburn High School is using his skills with computers to help young women half a world away have a chance at higher education. Alexander McBride, the founder of Laptops4Africa.org, has already sent 21 laptops to deserving female students by teaming with a family friend who hand delivers donations to a girls leadership training school in Tanzania ...

Director of Gallery U Boutique Says They Will Leave Westfield Over Parking Issues

January 19, 2018

WESTFIELD, NJ — Gallery U Boutique, an art space and boutique on South Avenue in Downtown Westfield, will relocate at the end of the summer due to ongoing parking issues, Executive Director Robert Greco said.

Gallery U is an extension of Universal Institute, a rehabilitation facility that services adults with traumatic brain injuries. Clients from UI work in the gallery and live in the ...

Crowds Pack Sussex County YMCA's Open House

HARDYSTON, NJ – The Sussex County YMCA was packed on Saturday afternoon.  People from all over Sussex County came by to try out the new facilities and see the expansion and renovations.  Special guests spoke at the opening ceremony in the new gymnasium.

Jennifer Gardner, Executive Director announced special guests U. S. Congressman Josh Gottheimer, New Jersey Senator Steve ...

Macrame Workshop at Sadie's

January 19, 2018

Come learn a new skill, sip some cocktails and enjoy 15% off at Sadie's with ticket purchase to this amazing workshop. Alyssa from @goodbearhandmade will be teaching a make-your-own Macramé Plant Hanger workshop on Feb. 18 at 2 p.m.

All materials are provided and no experience is necessary. Space is limited.

To register visit ...

Business Administrator – Full Time – Maplewood Township (Essex)

BUSINESS ADMINISTRATOR – FULL TIME – MAPLEWOOD TOWNSHIP (ESSEX)

Position available prior to June 1, 2018.

The Township is seeking an experienced and qualified, high profile, proactive, facilitating leader, who is committed to working in partnership with the Township Committee to deliver excellent and cost effective public services to an engaged, culturally and racially diverse ...

Weekly Specials at Ashley Marketplace & Cafe Jan. 19 to Jan. 25

Shop Ashley Marketplace & Cafe for your everyday needs!

This week's specials are:

Potato Salad $3.99lb (Prep Food)
Monkfish  $9.99lb (Ashley Fish Market)
Siggi’s Yogurt  4/$5
Ground Turkey Thigh Dark Meat $4.19lb (Meat)
Ham Wraps $5.99(Deli)
Breyer’s Ice Cream $4.99lb
Blueberries 1 Pint $4.99
Beemster Graskaas Gouda $7.99lb ...