FaceBook isn't exactly new. Bryan Benilous, a historical newspaper specialist at the digital-archive company Proquest, said he and his colleagues came across a Boston Daily Globe article from August 24, 1902, titled, “Face Book The New Fad,” describing a party game where revelers sketch out cartoony caricatures for fun.
“I think it is interesting to note the similarities with this first iteration of Face Book as a shared social experience,” said Mr. Benilous. “It’s almost like having friends write on your wall in a much less tech-savvy way.”
The Face Book article is not the first quirky relic that Mr. Benilous and his colleagues have excavated from old news articles. His team at ProQuest has digitized more than 200 million articles from early editions of The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times and The Boston Globe, among others, for archival purposes.
In addition to discovering what appears to be an emoticon in a transcript of a speech by Abraham Lincoln, they’ve uncovered a 1942 Washington Post article titled “Think Before You Twitter” about gossiping and a 1903 article referring to the first “pocket telephone.”
You can read more at: http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/05/01/the-face-book-fad-is-more-than-a-century-old/?hp.