some net history

Decca computer

Who invented the Internet? Who coined that word?
Was it J.C.R. 'Lick' Licklider ( Licklider addressed a 1963 memo to
"Members and Affiliates of the Intergalactic Computer Network"
though he admitted later that what he was really thinking of was a form of timesharing –
and what do the J, C and R stand for anyway).
Was it Bob Kahn or was it Vinton Cerf
(and is that where "Cerfing the Internet?" comes from)? Questions. Questions!

A good place to start is the Hobbes' Internet Timeline 2.4a ,
(And talking of timelines, take a look at Ken Polsson's History of Microcomputers.)

For some straight from the horses' mouths type stuff, try:
Alex McKenzie's Computer networking development records, 1969-1990 at the Charles Babbage Institute.
The definitive primary source for Internet history has to be
the collection of email memos called RFCs:Requests for Comments.
RFC791, for example is the September 1981 specification for Internet Protocol (IP) and RFC793 is the September 1981 specification for Transmission Control Protocol (TCP).
The oldest reference to the word 'Internet' that I could find was in the title of RFC675:
V Cerf, Y Dalal, and C Sunshine, Specification of Internet Transmission Control Program, dated 1 December 1974.

Before that, the terms 'Internetting' and 'Internetworks' were commonly used and the probable origin of 'Internet' lies perhaps in the Vinton Cerf and Robert Kahn paper 'A Protocol for Packet Network Interconnection' IEEE Trans. on Communications, Vol COM-22, No 5, pp637-648, May 1974.
Or the presentation to the INWG at the University of Sussex in Brighton in 1973.
Or maybe even at the October 1972 Washington DC International Conference on Computer Communication (ICCC) when the INWG was first set up.

(Internetting Working Group, Internet Working Group, International Packet Networking Group – what was that pesky group really called??? Well, according to the INWG General Notes at the CBI: Note #0 dated 23 October 1972, establishing the group's goals and intentions, titles the group International Network Working Group. However, the heading on Notes #1-9 is actually International Packet Network Working Group; the acronym is INWG even on the earliest notes. Successive notes are most commmonly headed with just the acronym INWG. After note #52, sometime after the group joined IFIP, the work 'Packet' was dropped from the complete title).

If anyone can give me an answer, please contact me! In the meantime, I'll continue the quest!

H>ere are some more history of the Internet type sites:

Lots of links at

How the Internet Came to Be by Vinton Cerf

WWW inventor Tim Berners-Lee FAQ

The History of the Internet by Dave Kristula

Henry Edward Hardy's History of the Net

Scott Ruthfield's The Internet's history and development

Cathy Jones's Brief history of the internet

BTW the picture at the top has nothing to do with the Internet – it's a Decca digital computer. It is pretty up-to-date. Valves are only used to supply power to the core circuits!