Once upon a time the web was new

frost-spider-web.jpgThanks to Jason Kottke who trawled the newly liberated Times Select archives! He delivers previously unavailable gems from the NYT last 150 years of content.

Among his finds is the first mention of the World Wide Web in the NYT. It also gives some context to Al Gore's notorious claim to have invented the internet. Here are a couple of quotes from:
The Executive Computer; A Web of Networks, an Abundance of Services, by John Markoff, 28 February 1993.


The Internet is a web of networks with shared software standards, allowing users on one network to reach anywhere into a global thicket. Created by the Pentagon, the Internet was originally limited to academic and corporate researchers and government officials.

[...] Many companies both small and large have found that using the Internet is good business.

Most of the article is about the Internet. The World Wide Web is mentioned almost as an afterthought, as something which makes available physicists' research from many locations.

I am half tempted to spend the rest of the day in the NYT files. There's more, much more to enjoy. A report on Lincoln's assassination. The first mention of television, in 1907. The sinking of the Titanic. And:

Tens of thousands of broken links fixed in one pass. Huzzah!

Kottke: Gems from the archive of the New York Times
Photo (c) Kirby Wright


Rachel McAlpine
Rachel McAlpine

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