The first ball drop in New York's Times Square on New Year's Eve took place in 1907. The tradition of celebrating New Year's Eve in Times Square actually began a few years earlier in 1904.
Jacob Starr, a young metalworker, was responsible for making that first ball, and his company was responsible for dropping the ball on New Year's Eve throughout most of the 1900s. That first ball was 5 feet in diameter and weighed roughly 700 pounds. Because its maiden voyage in 1907, there have only been 2 years when the ball has not dropped in Times Square: 1942 and 1943. The ball dropping ceremony was suspended at the time due to the mandated wartime "dimout" of lights across the city.