Humanities › History & Culture The History of the Internet Share Flipboard Email Print Busakorn Pongparnit/Getty Images History & Culture Inventions Computers & The Internet Famous Inventions Famous Inventors Patents & Trademarks Invention Timelines American History African American History African History Ancient History and Culture Asian History European History Genealogy Latin American History Medieval & Renaissance History Military History The 20th Century Women's History View More By Mary Bellis Inventions Expert Mary Bellis covered inventions and inventors for ThoughtCo for 18 years. She is known for her independent films and documentaries, including one about Alexander Graham Bell. our editorial process Mary Bellis Updated February 11, 2019 Before there was the public internet there was the internet's forerunner ARPAnet or Advanced Research Projects Agency Networks. ARPAnet was funded by the United States military after the cold war with the aim of having a military command and control center that could withstand a nuclear attack. The point was to distribute information between geographically dispersed computers. ARPAnet created the TCP/IP communications standard, which defines data transfer on the internet today. The ARPAnet opened in 1969 and was quickly usurped by civilian computer nerds who had now found a way to share the few great computers that existed at that time. Father of the Internet Tim Berners-Lee Tim Berners-Lee was the man leading the development of the World Wide Web (with help of course), the defining of HTML (hypertext markup language) used to create web pages, HTTP (HyperText Transfer Protocol), and URLs (Universal Resource Locators). All of those developments took place between 1989 and 1991. Tim Berners-Lee was born in London, England and graduated in Physics from Oxford University in 1976. He is currently the Director of the World Wide Web Consortium, the group that sets technical standards for the web. Besides Tim Berners-Lee, Vinton Cerf is also named as an internet daddy. Ten years out of high school, Vinton Cerf began co-designing and co-developing the protocols and structure of what became the internet. History of HTML Vannevar Bush first proposed the basics of hypertext in 1945. Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web, HTML (hypertext markup language), HTTP (HyperText Transfer Protocol) and URLs (Universal Resource Locators) in 1990. Tim Berners-Lee was the primary author of html, assisted by his colleagues at CERN, an international scientific organization based in Geneva, Switzerland. Origin of Email Computer engineer, Ray Tomlinson invented internet-based email in late 1971.