Wednesday 5 August 2015

Was Facebook actually founded in 1902?

Published 04/02/2014 | 11:18

Issued by the britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk of an extract from The Western Times, April 30th 1902, it describes a new novelty called a 'face-book' that was becoming popular in country houses as guests would draw pictures of themselves in the book with 'the worst drawings frequently causing the greatest entertainment'
Issued by the britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk of an extract from The Western Times, April 30th 1902, it describes a new novelty called a 'face-book' that was becoming popular in country houses as guests would draw pictures of themselves in the book with 'the worst drawings frequently causing the greatest entertainment'

Social networking giant Facebook celebrates its 10th birthday today, but a recently re-discovered newspaper clipping reveals the name is nothing new.

A report in Exeter newspaper The Western Times from 1902 tells its readers about "the latest novelty for wiling the time in a country house... known as a 'Face-book'".

The lower-tech version involved guests at stately homes drawing a picture of a face in an album before signing it, with the newspaper adding: "The result is very amusing and the worst drawings frequently cause the greatest entertainment."

Amy Sell, a researcher from the British Newspaper Archive, said: "Forgotten stories like this really enrich what we know about the past. It's surprising just how closely the 'Face-book' of 1902 reflects what we use today - history certainly does seem to repeat itself."

The modern-day Facebook has users around the world and last week reported record revenues of $2.5bn (€1.8bn) from 750 million daily users - a revenue rise of $1bn on the same period last year.

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