File this away for your next pub quiz: The first domain name ever registered was Symbolics.com, registered on March 15, 1985, by Symbolics Computer Corporation, a company that specialized in single-user machines running the LISP programming language. For this week’s Tech Time Warp, we’re going back to the early days of domain names.
Symbolics Computer Corporation eventually went out of business, and in 2009, domain name investor Aron Meystedt, as part of his then-investment firm XF.com, purchased the domain name for an undisclosed amount. Meystedt has since sold XF.com, but he maintains Symbolics.com as an online internet history museum.
Just a few weeks after Symbolics.com was registered, BBN.com was registered; today, the URL redirects to a page on the Raytheon website as BBN Technologies became a subsidiary of Raytheon in 2009. 1986 saw the registration of Xerox.com, hp.com, ibm.com, Intel.com and att.com, among others.
Here are a few more pieces of domain name trivia for your files:
- In 2010, Facebook purchased FB.com from the American Farm Bureau Federation for a cool $8.5 million. It now redirects to Facebook. (FB.org is the federation’s website.)
- The publication Business Insider estimates that more than 500 URLs have been sold for $1 million or more, with gambling and adult sites demanding the highest prices.
- In 2005, the domain LasVegas.com was sold to Vegas.com in a record-breaking 35-year deal ultimately worth $90 million.
- In 2007, H. Donnelley (now known as the Dex One Corporation) purchased business.com for a whopping $345 million.
- The domain WhiteHouse.com has been home to porn and political protests and is now a hybrid betting/polling site.
Photo: Maxx-Studio / Shutterstock
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