Brief History of the Internet
Origins of the Internet
The first recorded description of the social interactions that could be enabled through networking was a series of memos written by J.C.R. Licklider of MIT in August 1962 discussing his "Galactic Network" concept. He envisioned a globally interconnected set of computers through which everyone could quickly access data and programs from any site. In spirit, the concept was very much like the Internet of today. Licklider was the first head of the computer research program at DARPA,4 starting in October 1962. While at DARPA he convinced his successors at DARPA, Ivan Sutherland, Bob Taylor, and MIT researcher Lawrence G. ...view middle of the document...
Scantlebury told Roberts about the NPL work as well as that of Paul Baran and others at RAND. The RAND group had written a paper on packet switching networks for secure voice in the military in 1964. It happened that the work at MIT (1961-1967), at RAND (1962-1965), and at NPL (1964-1967) had all proceeded in parallel without any of the researchers knowing about the other work. The word "packet" was adopted from the work at NPL and the proposed line speed to be used in the ARPANET design was upgraded from 2.4 kbps to 50 kbps.
In August 1968, after Roberts and the DARPA funded community had refined the overall structure and specifications for the ARPANET, an RFQ was released by DARPA for the development of one of the key components, the packet switches called Interface Message Processors (IMP's). The RFQ was won in December 1968 by a group headed by Frank Heart at Bolt Beranek and Newman (BBN). As the BBN team worked on the IMP's with Bob Kahn playing a major role in the overall ARPANET architectural design, the network topology and economics were designed and optimized by Roberts working with Howard Frank and his team at Network Analysis Corporation, and the network measurement system was prepared by Kleinrock's team at UCLA.
This web site profiles ten individuals whose work has contributed significantly to the development of the Internet. It is my master's project.
This site is not intended to be an exhaustive history, nor is it suggested that these ten "pioneers" are the only individuals who have made meaningful contributions.
During World War II, a man named Vannevar Bush facilitated a relationship between the federal government, the American scientific community, and business. After the war, he helped institutionalize that relationship. As a result, organizations like the National Science Foundation and Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA), were created. It was at ARPA that the Internet first began. Bush also wrote a paper entitled, "As We May Think," in 1945. In this paper he described a theoretical storage and retrieval device, called a "memex," which would use a system remarkably similar to what we now call hypertext.
The Advanced Research Projects Agency was created by President Dwight Eisenhower after the Soviets launched the Sputnik satellite in October, 1957. The Soviet launch caused a crisis in American confidence. ARPA was formed to ensure that America would not again be caught off guard on the technological frontier. In 1962, J.C.R. Licklider went to work for ARPA. Licklider, a psychologist and computer scientist, believed that computers could be used to augment human thinking and suggested that a computer network be established to allow ARPA research contractors to communicate information with each other efficiently. Licklider did not actually build his proposed network, but his idea lived on when he left ARPA in 1964.
Bob Taylor, who was the director of ARPA's Information Processing...