Streams

Pratt's Steam Whistles to Herald in the New Year

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Conrad Milster, Pratt Institute's chief engineer, began the New Year's Eve steam whistle tradition around 50 years ago. Conrad Milster, Pratt Institute's chief engineer, began the New Year's Eve steam whistle tradition around 50 years ago. (Kim Nowacki/WQXR)

Brooklyn's Pratt Institute will continue its tradition of blowing steam whistles to usher in the New Year.

Chief Engineer Conrad Milster's been running the show for nearly 50 years. Over the years, he's collected 15 of the Industrial Revolution-era whistles from old buildings, trains and ships. Each year, he said, hundreds gather for the tradition.

"The thing that also makes it so spectacular is you have these huge clouds of steam," he explained. "There are times when the crowd literally disappears in steam clouds if you have a good, damp night."

There were reports that this would be the last year for the steam whistle-blowing, but Milster said he got a last-minute reprieve. Pratt released a statement Tuesday saying next New Year's Eve will be the final year, if Milster chooses to organize the event again.

 

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Comments [1]

Ahmed Lopez

Working for Conrad Milster as a student in the (work study)program at Pratt Institute was a great experience ,his interest in History was contagious ,part of the shores were cleaning and making shure everything worked smoothly.I helped restore the lamps at the entrance.Thanks Conrad
Ahmed Lopez 1982

Apr. 05 2014 03:56 PM

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