A brief look at Internet firsts

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Globe with flashes of light and binary numbers swirling around it

The Internet was born in 1991, and there are currently 4.8 billion Internet users globally. So, Find the Firsts searched for the Internet firsts – milestones in Internet history.

We’ll answer questions like what was the first thing sold on the Internet? Also, what was the first movie to stream on the Internet? Finally, what was the first online store?

So, let’s start with the question: What was the first website?

NOTE: Our Internet firsts mark milestones on and after August 6, 1991.

What was the first website?

The first website is info.cern.ch, which went live on August 6, 1991. The website is still available today, with the first webpage, http://info.cern.ch/hypertext/WWW/TheProject.html, in its original format.

A British scientist named Tim Berners-Lee created the World Wide Web (WWW) in 1989. He worked at the Conseil Européen pour la Recherche Nucléaire (CERN, French for European Council for Nuclear Research). The project’s goal was to make information sharing easier between scientists in universities and institutes worldwide.

The site’s executive summary reads:

the executive summary of the world wide web, one of the internet firsts

Honorable mention: The second website comes from the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center: https://swap.stanford.edu/19911206000000/http://slacvm.slac.stanford.edu/FIND/default.html. Paul Kunz visited Tim Berners-Lee, and then took a copy of the software back to the United States. He later launched the second website on December 12, 1991.

What was the first video stream on the Internet?

On Saturday, May 22, 1993, David Blair, the creator of the movie Wax: Or the Discovery of Television Among the Bees, transmitted it over the Internet from a film studio in midtown Manhattan. He played the movie on a video cassette recorder (VCR). Then, he connected the VCR to a computer that converted the movie into digital form and streamed it on the Internet.

Engineers met at an office of Sun Microsystems Inc. in Mountain View, California. Here, they were able to view the movie from the Internet on their workstations.

The standard video broadcast rate is 24 frames per second. Although Wax streamed at a rate of two frames a second, everyone was pleased with this milestone.

What’s the plot of the 85-minute movie? A race of telekinetic bees implants a television into a computer programmer and beekeeper named Jacob. As a result, Jacob experiences severe hallucinations.

What was the first blog?

The first blogger generally accepted is Justin Hall. He created his website, links.net, in January 1994 while a student at Swarthmore. The first term for Hall was web diarist and then web blogger.

By 2004, Hall had 4,800 posts that delved into his relationship with his father, stepfather, friends, and love life. Hall also posted photos from his travels worldwide. Furthermore, he included his daily thoughts on “art, writing, science, eating disorders, African-American religions, and tai chi.”

What was the first song downloaded from the Internet?

On June 27, 1994, Geffen Records became the first company to release a song for digital download. This first digital song was Aerosmith’s Head First. The three-minute and 14-second song took between 60 and 90 minutes to download. Ten thousand CompuServe subscribers downloaded the song over eight days. The digital version of “Head First” was 4.3 MB in size and made available as a WAV file.

What was the first item sold on the Internet?

For this question, we’re looking for a complete ecommerce transaction. The customer saw the product online and paid for it digitally. They didn’t use cash or check or hand over a credit card in person. The first corroborated item sold on the Internet was a compact disc (CD) of Sting’s “Ten Summoner’s Tales” album.

Entrepreneur Dan Kohn created the New Hampshire-based website called Net Market. His friend Phil Brandenberger, who lived in Philadelphia, purchased the CD on August 11, 1994. Mr. Brandenberger first download a particular browser that ran only on Unix to conduct secure online transactions using data encryption. Then, he used his credit card to pay $12.48 (plus shipping).

Net Market is also the first online marketplace. Noteworthy Music, a record retailer, became the first online store when it set up its storefront on Net Market and then delivered the Sting CD via FedEx to the customer in Philadelphia after making the online sale.

Did you enjoy this brief look at Internet firsts?

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