6 surprising objects in the history of the Internet
In the age of the smartphone, it's difficult to imagine that companies once struggled to convince customers that the Internet and e-mail were worth a try. In the 1990s, America Online (AOL), an Internet provider, sent out millions of promotional software disks like this one to attract new users. In what became a massive direct-mail campaign, AOL's disks provided few hours of free service—this one from around 1995 provides 15 hours of free access. By 1996, there were about 8 million AOL users and the log-on message of "You've Got Mail" became a popular catchphrase.