Is it ever really a party before the disco ball is brought out? A treasured beacon which has embodied light-hearted nightlife for decades, the disco ball is suited to pretty much any occasion. Whether it’s an ‘80s jam requiring your best impression of John Travolta’s finest moves or a slower song nearer the end of the night, the disco ball will have you covered.

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Many people attribute the disco ball to the ‘70s owing to its rise in popularity during this time, but did you know it was actually around long before that? In fact, the disco ball can be traced back well over 100 years, though it wasn’t exactly the product we know and love today.

The Mirrored Ball

Prior to their now famous nickname, disco balls were originally referred to simply as ‘mirrored balls’ owing to their reflective surfaces. In fact, the first of these mirrored balls can be traced back as far as 1897, meaning the famous symbol preceded and even endured your dad’s cringeworthy moves on the dance floor. These mirrored balls weren’t identical to today’s disco balls, but their orb shapes and reflective surfaces did come pretty close.

Following this, a patent for a ‘myriad reflector’ was filed. This was the first official patent for a design which matches the description of a disco ball, and from there the idea took off.

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World’s Most Novel Lighting Effect

Back when it was first released, the myriad reflector was described as the ‘world’s most novel lighting effect’, and since then it has withstood the test of time, still casting its dreamlike effects over the room in which it is placed. Today, even the most modern clubs still make excellent use of it, such as a Nightclub Cheltenham like, which combines the traditional use of the disco ball with the hype of modern clubbing.

Whilst the future of the disco ball can never be certain, it has proven its ability to awe and captivate audiences for well over 100 years without becoming tired or too ‘old-school’. What’s more, organisers of the popular festival ‘Burning Man’ have recently announced their intention to launch a giant 100-foot version of the beloved disco ball at their event, so if we had to hazard a guess we’d say it will be around for years to come!