History of the Internet

History of the Internet

On October 29, 1969, the first transmission over the ARPANET computer network was sent from UCLA to the Stanford Research Institute. Although the system crashed after sending just two letters (first “L” then “O”) this was the beginning of the communication revolution that became to be known as the Internet.

History of the Internet Resource Handout for Classroom or Homeschool: Just $2.00

Computer History Museum: Internet History5 stars

This illustrated time line from the Computer History Museum (of Mountain View, CA) starts in 1962, and continues until 1992. In the sixties, the AT&T Picturephone (imagined in 1939, and displayed at the New York World's Fair in 1964) is the phone company's vision of the future of communications. "But the four-year old Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) of the U.S. Department of Defense, a future-oriented funder of ?high-risk, high-gain' research, lays the groundwork for what becomes the ARPANET and, much later, the Internet."

Online MBA: History of the Internet5 stars

Although this infographic doesn't convey the detailed information available at the other sites, its visually appealing format makes the data easy to understand. Scroll down for a snapshot of major events in the Internet's history, such as the launching of Hotmail in 1996, and the standardization of Wi-fi technology in 1999. The infographic can also be embedded in your own website or blog. Just grab the code at the bottom of the page.

Sean McManus: A Short History of the Internet4 stars

Sean McManus, a British technology author, gives us a one-page time line of the Internet's development that takes us from 1969 ("The first node is connected to the internet's military ancestor, ARPANET.") to 2010 ("In February, Facebook announces it has 400 million active members. That's larger than the population of the US and UK combined.") Related blog posts include A Short History of File Sharing and A Short History of Bands Online.

Six Revisions: The History of the Internet in a Nutshell5 stars

This one-page Internet history is also in time line format. It's spiced up with illustrations, and published by Six Revisions (a blog for web developers). At the bottom of the post are links to related content that includes The History of Web Browsers (an infographic) and links to external sources for more research into the history of the web. "In 2003: Skype is released to the public, giving a user-friendly interface to Voice over IP calling. Also in 2003, MySpace opens up its doors."

Walt Howe: A Brief History of the Internet4 stars

"When the late Senator Ted Kennedy heard in 1968 that the pioneering Massachusetts company BBN had won the ARPA contract for an 'interface message processor (IMP),' he sent a congratulatory telegram to BBN for their ecumenical spirit in winning the 'interfaith message processor' contract." Walt Howe, webmaster and librarian, tells an "anecdotal history of the people and communities that brought about the Internet and the Web," and answers the frequently asked question: Did Al Gore invent the Internet?

History of the Internet Resource Handout for Classroom or Homeschool: Just $2.00

Honorable Mentions

The following links are either new discoveries or sites that didn't make it into my newspaper column because of space constraints. Enjoy!

Fact Monster: Internet Timeline

Internet Society: A Brief History of the Internet

NetValley: Roads and Crossroads of the Internet History

Universiteit Leiden: History of the Internet


Cite This Page

Feldman, Barbara. "History of the Internet." Surfnetkids. Feldman Publishing. 18 Oct. 2011. Web. 31 Aug. 2015. <http://www.surfnetkids.com/resources/history-of-the-internet/ >.


About This Page

By . Originally published October 18, 2011. Last modified October 18, 2011.

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