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Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Here, on one sheet of paper, is a map of the entire internet as of 1973

A bit of internet history, via Twitter user David Newbury (@workergnome):
Going through old papers my dad gave me, I found his map of the internet as of May 1973. 
The entire internet.
Wikipedia's slightly clearer version of the same map used by @workergnome

In the very early years of the Internet, it was the secret and very small ARPANET (wiki) - it had started in the late 1960s, with just four locations (map, right). 

Arpanet's original 4 locations, via @gadgetopia
By 1973, it had expanded to a small handful of government labs, research universities, and private companies, but still so few that the entire network could be mapped on a single sheet of paper.

Recently, Newbury found the map above among his dad’s papers and posted it online. You can find Stanford, UCLA, Utah and UCSB, the original members, but by 1973, ARPANET had expanded east, to Case Western, Carnegie Mellon, Harvard, and MIT. There are government labs, like Lawrence Berkeley National Lab and the Army’s Aberdeen Ballistic Research Lab, and private research organizations like MITRE and Xerox. 

The map Newbury found was printed in a report from the NASA Ames Research Center, which also included this map, showing the geographical spread of the network:

The network, mapped. NASA
And by 1977, there was this, which claimed it was based on the “best information obtainable”. Larger version here.

No mention of Al Gore, who's actual quote on the subject was, "During my service in the United States Congress, I took the initiative in creating the Internet."

via Atlas Obscura


  1. It went under the Missouri River? OMG!!!!! Don't they realize it could leak bits and bytes into the drinking water?

    1. Of Course they knew it. Its all part of THE PLOT.

  2. Boy does this bring back memories. Interface Message Processors (IMP), PDP-10 and 11 computers, IBM 360s. The early days of JWICS looked a lot like this too.

  3. Where is all of the adult content that dominates the internet today? Oh, there it is, just the "TIP".