Who Invented The Internet? Internet History: 1828–1844 Timeline (Part 1)

Ogi Djuraskovic
Updated: January 13th, 2024
5 min read
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The internet appeared as an idea long before the World Wide Web was formed. When the telegraph was discovered in the 19th century, it sparked the first idea of a large network of computers that are connected to each other.

However, the World Wide Web has contributed the most to what the internet is today. 

The WWW (World Wide Web) was invented by a British scientist Timothy John Berners-Lee in 1989. At the time, Berners-Lee was working for the European Organization for Nuclear Research. Since that moment, he was known as the founder of the Web. 

However, there is certainly more to it. Berners-Lee played a major role, but there are so many factors and discoveries that need to be considered before that.

That’s why we’ve decided to take you on a journey back throughout the history of the internet and try to answer 3 essential questions: 

  1. What led to the creation of the internet? 
  2. When did the internet first appear? 
  3. Who is the person that “discovered” the internet in its form? 

A lot of brilliant people have contributed to the development of the internet as we know it today. Many discoveries and important events have transpired to get where we are today. 

Defining the WWW and Internet

World Wide Web – It’s the largest information retrieval system that lets users gain access to a large number of documents (web pages) connected through hyperlinks.

Internet – a globally connected network of computers powered by various internet protocols that lets different devices and networks communicate with each other.

The development of any technology and innovation is always a result of many events happening before the actual invention. When talking about the World Wide Web and the internet, there are two important storylines to follow: 

  1. The invention of internet protocols 
  2. The invention of hypertext 

These two are what made this global network possible, but at the same time, there are many other technologies that have contributed to the development of the internet. That’s why we’ll start off by talking about them. 

What is covered in this article. 

The “Prehistoric Period” of the Internet The internet as we know it today would never have been possible if it wasn’t for two essential 19th-century inventions: The telegraph Electricity 

Historic timeline of the Internet development We will follow a relevant history timeline of internet development. We’ll mention some of the key technologies, organizations, events, and people that have contributed to creating the modern internet.

1828 

In 1828 a German scientist by the name of Pavel Schilling invented the first electromagnetic telegraph called the Schilling. 

People
Baron Pavel Lvovitch Schilling – born in 1786. Even though he worked in the Russian military and as a diplomat, his roots were German. He died in 1837. 
Source: Wikipedia 

Technologies
Electromagnetic Telegraph (Schilling Telegraph) – A telegraph that uses electric current and was operated via primate keyword. It had needles that used the binary code. The telegraph was controlled from a distance via cables. 
Source: ETHW

1833 

Two German scientists Wilhelm Weber and Carl Friedrich Gauss created a code that they used for long-distance communication in Gottingen, Germany. Their communication stretched for 1200 m. 

Source: Nationalmaglab

People
Wilhelm Eduard Weber – born in Wittenberg in 1804. This German physicist worked with Carl Friedrich Gauss on developing the first electromagnetic telegraph. He died in 1891. 
Source: Wikipedia 
Carl Friedrich Gauss – born in Brunswick in 1777. This German physicist and mathematician. He is considered one of the most successful mathematicians in history. 
Source: Wikipedia 

Technologies
Electromechanical Telegraph – This telegraph had a binary code transmitted by different voltage pulses. It used a moving induction coil on a magnet along with transmission wires. 
Source: Notionalmaglab

1838

In 1834 Charles Babbage started working on his Analytical Engine prototype after his Difference Engine project fell apart. He made quick progress, and in 1838 he had all the essential design concepts in place. 

Source: Union.edu

People
Charles Babbage – born in 1791 in London. This English mechanical engineer, inventor, and mathematician is considered as the originator of the programmable computer. Many call him the “father of the computer.” Babbage died in 1871.  
Source: Wikipedia 

Technologies
Analytical Engine – this was the first general-purpose computer that was completely mechanical. It was invented as part of the difference engine made by Babbage in 1838. 
Source: Wikipedia 

1843

Ada Lovelace was the first programmer in the world. Similarly to Babbage, she was interested in Analytical Engine and how it worked. However, on top of that, she knew how to input data into the program and use it to solve Bernoulli numbers, which is considered to be the first computer program in the world. 

Source: Nemo Science Museum 

People 
Ada Lovelace – born in London in 1815. She was the first programmer in the world. As a mathematician, Lovelace was fascinated by Babbage’s machine. She described how it worked and created the first computer program.  

Technologies 
First Programmer – Lovelace understood programmable calculators ahead of her time. She knew the potential for highly complex calculations. Simply put, she understood how programs and computers could be used in the future. 
Source: Nemo Science Museum

1844

The first-ever Morse code was sent from Washington to Baltimore by Samuel more. It was a public telegraph stating: “What hath God wrought?” This event was actually the development of the first-ever phone line between these two cities using telegraph technology. 

Source: Postscapes

People
Samuel Morse – born in 1791 in Charlestown, Massachusetts. This American inventor was one of the major contributors to the invention of the telegraph system. He is also the person who made telegraphy commercial. 
Source: Wiki 

Technologies
Morse code – Morse code is a telecommunication method that encodes letters as sequences of two signals. It was named after its inventor, Samuel Morse. 
Source: Wiki 

To Be Continued

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