While the eyes of most of the nation will be on the ball at Times Square at midnight, in Brooklyn, some ears will be waiting for the toot of a steam whistle to signify the start of 2010.
Conrad Milster could be found this morning warming up one of a dozen steam whistles at the Pratt Institute, where Milster's the chief engineer of the power plant. Blowing the whistles before, at, and after midnight has become a Brooklyn tradition. Hundreds of people come out to participate. Milster hands them a long cord to pull, so they don't need to get too close to the noise.
Milster says we should be able to hear the whistle for 2-3 miles away. Here he explains just how it works:
Milster has been engineering Pratt's heat, steam, and electricity since the 1950s. He began whistling for the New Year in the 1960s.