A Map of the First Internet

Illustration for article titled A Map of the First Internet

This is Arpanet. The internet before Google. Before Flickr, before YouTube, before Chat Roulette, before BitTorrent. Before pictures of your ex-girlfriend on Facebook. An internet that you could draw a map of with only a few lines and some dots. 1972.

At this point, the internet wasn't even the internet—still dubbed ARPANET, the Pentagon (and a handful of universities') private plaything. As you can see, it wasn't exactly... extensive. The network served only to link key research centers. It's pretty amazing to think that this smattering of cables turned into the bizarre, twisted, incredibly complex nebula of porn, parody, knowledge hatred, joy, and cat videos we now adore. [Life]

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I remember in the mid eighties using a chart like this to send someone an email message. The address was the whole path the message would take. If you and the other person weren't right on the backbone, it would take literally days for an email to reach someone.