At first glance, the domain name symbolics.com might not seem all that remarkable. It used to belong to a now-defunct computer manufacturer of the same name in Cambridge, Massachusetts and has since been acquired by a small investor group in Dallas, Texas. What is remarkable about the domain, however, is its age. Registered on March 15, 1985, it was the very first .com domain to be registered.
Though symbolics.com is still around, the website has changed quite a bit since its initial launch and change of ownership. This got us wondering how many other really old .com sites are still around that haven’t been updated over the years? After much research and a nostalgia overdose, we found seven that seem like they have remained unaltered since the advent of pagers and Palm Pilots. Enjoy!
Domain Name: itcorp.com
Registered: September 18, 1986
Interrupt Technology Corporation’s website might win the award for plainest website on the Internet. This is because they still haven’t bought into this whole “website” hype. As they say on their site, “This Web page exists primarily to satisfy the needs of those who expect every domain to have a Web presence.”
Domain Name: vortex.com
Registered: October 27, 1986
Vortex Technology was created by Lauren Weinstein, co-founder of People For Internet Responsibility, Network Neutrality Squad, and founder of the PRIVACY Forum. In line with these initiatives, vortex.com is a collection of information that will help you become a better Internet citizen…and see the current weather in L.A.
Domain Name: tic.com
Registered: April 23, 1987
Texas Internet Consulting is a simple website for a consulting firm providing help with network and systems architecture and design. As far as we can tell, the firm is a one-person operation run by Smoot Carl-Mitchell. He began working on TIC in 1987 for 11 years before leaving to work in various other roles, and then briefly returned to TIC for one year in March 2004. LinkedIn indicates that Carl-Mitchell is currently with Cort Business Services, but perhaps if you ask very nicely he’ll help you out with your TCP/IP network design?
Domain Name: toad.com
Registered: August 18, 1987
Toad Hall — possibly named after the residence of Mr. Toad from The Wind in the Willows — is a collection of links relating to John Gilmore, one of the founders of the Electronic Frontier Foundation. If you’re looking to join the fight against unjust laws and regulations (or the misuse thereof) then Gilmore’s simple homepage for toad.com is the perfect launching off point.
Domain Name: cfg.com
Registered: November 2, 1987
If you think the 1987 launch of Caine, Farber & Gordon’s website is impressive, consider that they had by that point been in operation for 17 years! Founded in 1970 by Steve Caine, Dave Farber and Kent Gordon, CFG is a software and systems firm that is best known for the PDL/81 Program Design Language Processor which, fear not, is Y2K compliant according to their website.
Domain Name: purple.com
Registered: August 31, 1994
Purple.com is possibly the first known single-serving site. The screenshot says it all.
Domain Name: milk.com
Registered: July 18, 1994
Milk.com was created by Daniel Bornstein in 1994 because ‘why not?’ As Bornstein to-the-point describes in the Not For Sale section, “if you’re not offering $10 million, I’m not interested.” The website is a great example of being in the right place at the right time and buying a great domain name when it is available. As Bornstein proclaims at the bottom of the site, “I got milk.com!”
Know of any other ancient .com sites? Let us know in the comments!