What the Internet Looked Like in 1996: 6 Old Websites That Will Blow Your Mind

Meghan Blalock
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If there’s one thing that never gets old, it’s going back through the archives of the World Wide Web and seeing just how much the Internet has changed and evolved since its inception in the 1990s. When it first kicked into high gear, around 1995, most people still viewed it as a fairly foreign concept—a vaguely communal space they could access through their desktop computer to “chat” with other people and send a thing called e-mail.

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At the time, only about 10 million people were active on the Internet, and most of them gained access through a little thing called AOL. Business Insider recently got their hands on a Morgan Stanley report from 1996, which analyzed the state of the Web and how they expected it to grow. There was a section called “Morgan Stanley’s Cool Sites — 500 Channels & Everything’s On,” which is just what it sounds like: a long list of the “best websites” from 1996. And it is pure glory.

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Check out some of our personal favorites from the list below–including what now appear to us to be incredibly janky, basic websites for huge companies like American Express, ESPN, Wells Fargo, and even the New York TimesEnjoy!

espn 1996

nytimes 1996

wells fargo 1996

american express 1996

800flowers 1996

cnn What the Internet Looked Like in 1996: 6 Old Websites That Will Blow Your Mind

 

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