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How Web Browsers Have Changed 25 Years After The Introduction Of Mosaic

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Twenty-five years ago this week, a web browser called Mosaic was released to the public.

AILSA CHANG, HOST:

Before Mosaic existed, you had to know what you were looking for. With Mosaic, you had an easy way to discover things on the Internet.

SHAPIRO: So on this anniversary, we travel back in time with our regular feature...

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED PEOPLE: First mention.

SHAPIRO: NPR listeners would have to wait two years after its launch to hear about Mosaic on the radio.

CHANG: On March 4, 1995, gardening maven Ketzel Levine brought it to our attention not long after she discovered fellow gardeners were using computers to study up on gardening practices.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED BROADCAST)

KETZEL LEVINE, BYLINE: What I discovered is this whole world of maniacs. And they're all communicating nonverbally on the Internet, in cyberspace, talking about anything they might talk about across the back garden gate. And this you need to have links or Veronica or Mosaic.

SHAPIRO: NPR didn't really get around to explaining what Mosaic was until June of 1995 in this report from correspondent John McChesney.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED BROADCAST)

JOHN MCCHESNEY, BYLINE: That part of the Internet called the World Wide Web is growing at a blistering pace. That's largely because of an easy-to-use graphical interface called Mosaic developed by a group of students at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana.

CHANG: By the time NPR was reporting on Mosaic in 1995, the students who had perfected it were already onto bigger things. They founded a new company that eventually became Netscape. Netscape morphed into Mozilla, which today makes the Firefox browser. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.