The Internet has become a mammoth network —with billions of web pages and even more images uploaded and circulated through millions of computers world wide. Internet can shows you all kinds of photographs —everything that you can imagine —and also everything that you cannot imagine! But have you ever wondered which was the photograph that first appeared on the Internet? Well, that’s exactly what I am going to tell you today. Not to keep you in suspense for long, this famous photograph is called “Les Horribles Cernettes” and was uploaded on the web, in 1992, by none other than the inventor of the Internet himself; Tim Berners-Lee.
The photograph shows the members of the Les Horribles Cernettes (The Horrible CERN Girls) which is an all-female parody pop group at CERN. The group is self-labeled “the one and only High Energy Rock Band” and was founded by the employees of CERN to perform at the social CERN events. Interestingly, the initials of this pop group’s name, LHC, is the same as that of the Large Hadron Collider which was later built at CERN!
The four lovely ladies appearing in this photograph are (from left to right):
- Angela Higney
- Michele de Gennaro
- Colette Marx-Neilsen
- Lynn Veronneau.
It was Michele de Gennaro (second from left) who started the group Les Horribles Cernettes in 1990. Michele used to work as a graphic designer at CERN.
Silvano de Gennaro, another employee of CERN, has said that Les Cernettes were the subject of the first photographic image on the Web (and the first band to have a website):
Back in 1992, after their show at the CERN Hardronic Festival, my colleague Tim Berners-Lee asked me for a few scanned photos of “the CERN girls” to publish them on some sort of information system he had just invented, called the “World Wide Web”. I had only a vague idea of what that was, but I scanned some photos on my Mac and FTPed them to Tim’s now famous “info.cern.ch“. How was I to know that I was passing an historical milestone, as the one above was the first picture ever to be clicked on in a web browser!
Silvano was also the photographer of the above image. He took this photograph on 18 July 1992. Silvano also wrote songs for the Les Horribles Cernettes band. You can watch the current Cernettes on YouTube as well. Here is the video:
This video shows Cernettes performing the very first song of the band “You never spend your nights with me”.
So, next time you upload an image in your email, Facebook, Twitter etc. you may remember the Les Horribles Cernettes —the first ever photograph uploaded on the Internet! You may also be interested in knowing about the first ever photograph in human history. And the first ever photograph of a person!
What do you think of this photograph and the story behind it? Please comment and give your feedback as it helps me in writing better content for my readers. Thank you for reading and stay connected with my website as I will continue to bring stories on more iconic photographs for you.