Discover the History of the World Wide Web – WOW!

Did you know that the history of the World Wide Web, known as the Internet Archive, has been captured over time.  With the exception of pages that have been blocked, or those that were not submitted to search engines, public web pages have been captured and archived for our enjoyment (well really for history).

This also serves to remind us of just how recently we have become addicted to what now we take for granted the World Wide Web!  You will find no significant internet activity prior to the mid 1990’s.  Certainly E-Commerce as we know it today has only become popular in the last decade.

These web Pages are active, in that you can click on the links and drill down further if you wish.  Of course some of the images and active components may not function as they once did, but all in all, this is truly amazing.  This should keep you busy for a few hours…

  • Here are few examples, how about Hewlett Packard in 1996. Imagine that – HP is going to extend it’s business strategy to enable “Electronic Business” on the Internet:
The HP Home Page in December of 1996

The HP Home Page in December of 1996

  • How about the CNET Web presence, way back in December of 1996.  Interesting to see what made it to their home page. It was not a particularly good day for the stock market:
WWW.CNET.COM in May Of 2011

WWW.CNET.COM in May Of 2011

  • How about the US White House Web site shortly after “9-11”. Notice the reference to the attack on America, click on some of the links and explore:
Hot PC Tips - WH-9-13-2011

WWW.WHITEHOUSE.GOV on Sept 13th, 2001 – One of Three Updates that Day

To explore for yourself, point your browser to, and enter a URL that you would like to explore:Hot PC Tips - WebAddress

The Internet Archive will return a graphical calendar display, along with a bar chart of the years that the URL was archived. As you can see below, “” became a public resource in the late ’90’s.

Hot PC Tips - Web.Archive WhiteHouse

The size of the blue circles give you clues as to the activity of this URL on that date. Hover over a date and the Internet Archive will let you know how many snapshots were captured on that date, in this case a couple early in the morning and one in the afternoon.

This is just a “Tip of the Internet Archive Iceberg” if you know what I mean. Give this a little thought and you will find legitimate reasons to explore. Just tell your boss you are doing some research!

Have fun Exploring (Research)!