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.
Symbolics Computer Corporation eventually went out of business, and in 2009, the investment firm XF.com purchased the domain name for an undisclosed amount. Today, XF.com maintains the site as a historical reference, with a rotating globe showing the locations of site visitors, a count of how many domains are registered each day—and the reminder that Symbolics.com was the first of more than 320 million domains registered to date.
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 now 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.
Tech Time Warp is a weekly feature that looks back at interesting moments and milestones in tech history.