Today we say happy 45th birthday to the Internet! And what better way to do it than embarrass it with some much-loved baby photos…


A group of researchers circa 1970 standing around a teletype going over data from the ARPANET. On the far left we see William Naylor .

Defining the birth of the Internet.

So how do we put a date on it? It’s a question so many of us ask all of the time. A couple of our all time favourites…’Did it start with the web?’, or ‘Did web begin with an IP’. Well, both are reasonably good questions and provoke much more in depth discussions. However, there is one moment in history that cannot be ignored, as the real culprit for the birth of the internet. On October 29th, 1969 at 10:30pm, the first ever host-to-host connection of the ARPANET between UCLA and Stanford.

This exact time was documented on the IMP log that the researchers used at UCLA. It was when their computer first talked to SRI, host to host.(UCLA SDS Sigma 7 Host computer to the SRI SDS 940 Host computer.) The first message was sent on the ARPANET by UCLA’s student programmer Charley Kline.

The first successful transmission was the word login. An earlier attempt has seen the “l” and the “o”  carried through, followed by a crash in the system. It appeared those three extra letters caused everything to fail. About an hour later, once the code was amended, the word “login” successfully passed from computer host to computer host.
data log

The embarrassing Conception!


The above photograph sees the delivery of the SDS Sigma 7 computer at Boelter Hall, UCLA circa in 1967. The first 32-bit computer released by SDS. Incisions were made to cut open the walls of the building, and a forklift was used aid the full delivery of the computer.

Below, the IEEE plaque at UCLA commemorating it as the birthplace of the internet, photographed by Gizmodo’s own Alissa Walker.


Well, happy birthday Internet…Let’s take a second and imagine our life without you!

Images: Courtesy of the KCIS at UCLA