Illuminating the Web: Netscape’s IPO of August 1995

The 1995 Blog

It was 19 years ago tomorrow when Netscape Communications illuminated the World Wide Web for millions of people and catalyzed what became the boom of the late 1990s.

Netscape did so with an IPO, the initial public offering of its shares; it proved to be a decisive moment of the watershed year that was 1995.

The company made the first widely popular Web browser, Netscape Navigator, through which millions of people found their way to the early Web. And Netscape, as I write in my forthcoming book, 1995: The Year the Future Began, epitomized the swagger and panache of Internet startups of the mid-1990s. It was founded in 1994 by James H. Clark, he of Silicon Graphics fame, and by Marc Andreessen, whom Newsweek magazine was to call the “uber-super-wunder whiz kid of cyberspace.”Netscape_logo

The IPO took place August 9, 1995, following a multicity…

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