How Belgium Nearly Invented The Internet

In 1910, two beardy Belgians started a project: to collect the entirety of human knowledge in one place, and make it available to everyone. It sounds like they wanted to create Wikipedia or Google – but unfortunately, no-one had invented…

How Belgium Nearly Invented The Internet

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In 1910, two beardy Belgians started a project: to collect the entirety of human knowledge in one place, and make it available to everyone. It sounds like they wanted to create Wikipedia or Google – but unfortunately, no-one had invented web servers or home computers yet. So instead, they ended up making the world’s greatest filing cabinet. I travelled to the city of Mons to see the beast for myself, and find out more about its incredible story…

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FURTHER INFO

“The web that time forgot”, New York Times – https://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/17/health/17iht-17mund.13760031.html

“Mundaneum: the Belgian archive that anticipated the internet” – The Independent – https://www.independent.co.uk/travel/europe/mundaneum-paper-google-mons-internet-global-city-belgium-wallonia-a8368161.html

PHOTO CREDITS

Palais du Cinquaintenaire Panorama by Redvers – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Cinquantenaire_Park_panorama.jpg

Parc du Cinquantenaire photo by Ben2 – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Parc_du_Cinquantenaire_30-05-06.JPG

Vint Cerf by Duncan Hull / The Royal Society – https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/6b/Dr_Vint_Cerf_ForMemRS.jpg

Bob Kahn by Veni Markovski – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Bob_Kahn.jpg

The Internet by Martin Deutsch – https://www.flickr.com/photos/teflon/3190769121

Bakelite telephone by digitalmuseum.se – https://digitaltmuseum.se/011024979267/telefonapparat

Gramophone by Museo della Scienza e della Tecnologia “Leonardo da Vinci” | Alessandro Nassiri – https://www.wikiwand.com/en/Victor_Talking_Machine_Company#Media/File:Grammofono_-_Victor_IV_-_Museo_scienza_e_tecnologia_Milano.jpg

Early 50s TV set by John Atherton – https://www.flickr.com/photos/gbaku/2300379755

Bob Taylor by Gardner Campbell – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Bob_Taylor_in_2008.jpg

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