In 1969, The Beatles were recording "The End" while simultaneously making that end a reality. New cars cost $3000, man had (purportedly) landed on the moon, and futuristic gobbledygook like PCs and the Internet were the stuff of visionaries and/or lunatics.
There were no "browsers," apart from those people found lasciviously flipping through copies of National Geographic at the local library. Nevertheless, there was the genesis of a little something called ARPANET. Developed by the Department of Defense to promote networking research, ARPANET tethered together the mainframe computers of several universities and flourished. For 20 years, ARPANET was the Internet. That it was also the means to see into the pre-Web Web assures it of the lead-off position in our compendium.