Ethernet Prototype Circuit Board

This Ethernet board is a prototype developed by Robert Metcalf in 1973 while at Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC). Metcalf based his idea for the Ethernet on the ALOHAnet, a packet-switching wireless radio network developed by Norman Abramson, Frank Kuo, and Richard Binder at the University of Hawaii-Manoa. The ALOHAnet sent computer data communication between the university's campuses on several islands. Metcalf improved upon ALOHAnet's design and created the "Alto ALOHA Network," a network of computers hard-wired together by cables that he soon called the Ethernet. In 1985, the Ethernet became the
Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc. (IEEE) standard for connecting personal computers via a Local Area Network (LAN). Today, LANs often use WiFi, or Wireless Fidelity, a way of connecting computers without wires.
Object Name
circuit board
Date made
Metcalf, Robert
Xerox Corporation
Physical Description
plastic (overall material)
metal (overall material)
rubber (overall material)
overall: 6 in x 3 3/4 in x 1 1/4 in; 15.24 cm x 9.525 cm x 3.175 cm
Place Made
United States: California, Palo Alto
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Computers & Business Machines
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Computers
Inventing In America
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Xerox PARC
Additional Media

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