LIS 525 - History of the Internet


Communications Systems

1794-1855 Chappe optical telegraph
1830 First practical electrical signal demonstrated
1844- Morse's electric telegraph in use
1876- Telephone
1891- Mechanical switching
1927- Transmission of television and color photographs by wire
1931- Typewriter Exchange (TWX) service
1940- Broadband services More than one conversation can be carried on a single wire
1963- All-electronic switching systems in use
1976- Digital switches in use
1978- U.S. telephone users may connect with any industry standard devices
1996- Cable modems


1642 Pascaline Numerical wheel calculator
1694 Leibnitz's calculator Could do multiplication
1822 Babbage's proposal for a Difference Engine Stored programs and automatic printing of results
1874 QWERTY keyboard Keyboard arrangement of the first commercial typewriter
1889 Hollerith cards Storing census data on punch cards; the origin of IBM
1941 Z3 First computer.
1945-1956 First generation Vacuum tube computers
1956-1963 Second generation Transistorized computers
1964-1971 Third generation Integrated circuits, operating systems
1971- Fourth generation Large-scale integration
1975 Altair 8800 Personal computer in kit form
1977 CP/M First operating system for personal computers
Apple II, Commodore PET, TRS-80 First affordable usable pre-assembled personal computers
1981 Xerox Star First PC with a mouse and GUI
1981- IBM PCs Widely used personal workstations

Brief Outline

1969-1989/1990 ARPANet Researchers can share data. E-mail
1972- telnet Remote login to other computers
1973- FTP (File Transfer Protocol) Standarized file transfer
1979- USENET Electronic news distribution system
1983- TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol) Packet creation, routing, and reception.
1984- DNS (Domain Name System or Server) Translates mnemonic node names to identifiers.
1991- Gopher Hierarchical menu navigation.
1993- WWW (World Wide Web) and HTTP (HyperText Transfer Protocol)
1993- InterNIC (Network Information Centers) First formal registration of Internet sites.
1993/1994- Mosaic and Netscape Navigator Graphical Web browsers

For More Information


Last updated October 4, 2007.
This page maintained by Prof. Tim Craven
E-mail (text/plain only):
Faculty of Information and Media Studies
University of Western Ontario,
London, Ontario
Canada, N6A 5B7