We’ve dusted off our digital paleontological tools and uncovered some of the oldest relics on the internet. If you’re ready, prepare your world-wide-web spelunking gear because we’re diving deep into the past. From the oldest continuously operating webcam to a 20 year old presidential campaign, you won’t believe that these websites still exist.
1. The San Francisco Fog Cam (1994)
Webcams wouldn’t become customary on laptops, tablets, and phones until many years later, but students at San Francisco State University were ahead of the game. Students Jeff Schwartz and Dan Wong built the webcam as a project to capture student life. It has been taking a snapshot every minute and broadcasting it continuously for 22 years.
2. Space Jam (1996)
In 1996 Michael Jordan took to the big screen with the Looney Tunes to duke it out with the Monstars on the basketball court. Looking at the clipart style graphics and the starry background of the website makes you feel like the last 20 years never happened.
3. CNN’s OJ Simpson Trial Page (1996)
The O.J. Simpson trial caused a media storm that was followed internationally. As CNN covered the trial they aggregated all of their information on this web page. Here you can follow the entire trial – From the murder and arrest, to the tumultuous trial, to the final shocking verdict (no spoilers!).
4. Bob Dole/Jack Kemp Presidential Camapign (1996)
Followers of American politics can easily remember the 8 year span that President Bill Clinton was in office, but they may have forgotten the election of 1996. As Bill Clinton ran for re-election he was facing off against former Senator Bob Dole and former Housing Secretary Jack Kemp. Though Clinton won the election, the Dole/Kemp election website is still up and running.
5. Three Rivers Stadium (1998)
The Three Rivers Stadium was the pride and joy of both the Pittsburgh Pirates of Major League Baseball, and the Pittsburgh Steelers of the National Football League. Though the stadium was demolished in 2001 this website didn’t seem to get the memo. A glimpse into the age of the site is seen in a note on the homepage – “This site has been optimized for Netscape 3.0 or above and Internet Explorer 4.0 and above.” IE 4.0 came out in 1997, and less than 1% of people were using Netscape by the mid-2000s.
6.You’ve Got Mail (1998)
If you remember going to Blockbuster and renting You’ve Got Mail on VHS, you might have also visited this website. Filled with quotes from the film, screensavers, and a link encouraging you to “Buy the Video”, you’d swear this movie just left theaters.
There are plenty of other old websites out there, but we got our antiquary studies started with these six. It is interesting to see how web design and content layout have changed over the past 20 years. What other digital fossils have you stumbled across? Which one of these was your favorite to check out? Let us know in the comments!