HAVE A HAPPY NEW YEARS EVE, Y’ALL | PARTY LIKE IT’S CIRCA 1900

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Old School (ca. 1900) party– A cigar smoking man poses with a bottle of whiskey and a bottle of beer.  –Image by © DaZo Vintage Stock Photos/Images.com/Corbis

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1 Times Square, West 43rd Street @ Broadway & 7th Avenue

NY Times Tower held a celebration of the opening of its new headquarters with a display of fireworks on January 1, 1905, at midnight. The famous New Year’s Eve Ball drop tradition began in 1907.  via

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The first New Year’s Eve Ball– made of iron and wood and adorned with one hundred 25-watt light bulbs, was 5 feet in diameter and weighed 700 pounds. It was built by a young immigrant metalworker named Jacob Starr, and for most of the twentieth century the company he founded, sign maker Artkraft Strauss, was responsible for lowering the ball.  via

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Murray’s Roman Gardens — from Manhattan’s fabled “Lobster Palace Society” era. via

 

As part of the 1907-1908 festivities, waiters in the fabled “lobster palaces” and other deluxe eateries in hotels surrounding Times Square were supplied with battery-powered top hats emblazoned with the numbers “1908″ fashioned of tiny light bulbs. At the stroke of midnight, they all “flipped their lids” and the year on their foreheads lit up in conjunction with the numbers “1908″ on the parapet of the Times Tower lighting up to signal the arrival of the new year.

 

The Ball has been lowered every year since 1907, with the exceptions of 1942 and 1943, when the ceremony was suspended due to the wartime “dimout” of lights in New York City. Nevertheless, the crowds still gathered in Times Square in those years and greeted the New Year with a minute of silence followed by the ringing of chimes from sound trucks parked at the base of the tower– a harkening-back to the earlier celebrations at Trinity Church, where crowds would gather to “ring out the old, ring in the new.” –via Times Square New Year’s Eve

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Circa. 1900– A group of young adults drinking alcohol from a jug. –Image by © DaZo Vintage Stock
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Circa. 1905– Two couples smoking, and drinking whiskey and beer from a wooden keg on the beach.  –Image by © DaZo Vintage Stock Photos/Images.com/Corbis
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Circa. 1905– A beer drinking group pauses the party for a photo. –Image by © DaZo Vintage Stock
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Circa. 1900– A group of party goers takes a break and sleeps. –Image by © DaZo Vintage Stock

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8 thoughts on “HAVE A HAPPY NEW YEARS EVE, Y’ALL | PARTY LIKE IT’S CIRCA 1900

  1. I stumbled on to your website about a year ago and it is one of my favorites. The historical photographs you post give us insight on life in forgotten times! Glad you care JP!

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