Amazon launched 22 years ago this week — here’s what shopping on Amazon was like back in 1995

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Jeff Bezos Amazon

The idea for Amazon was born in 1994 in New York City, while Jeff Bezos was working in finance and realizing the internet was not something he could not let pass him by.

Bezos put together a list of things he thought he could sell online and picked books, According to "The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon," Brad Stone’s 2013 book on the origins of the company. Bezos launched Amazon as an online bookstore in 1995.

In 2016, some 21 years later, Amazon hit $136 billion in sales. With its recent deal to buy Whole Foods, a top-tier cloud computing business, and a line of consumer electronics that includes its popular Echo smart speakers, Amazon has come a long way from its bookstore beginning

With help from the Wayback Machine, we took a look at how Amazon’s homepage has evolved with the company. 

SEE ALSO: 15 fascinating facts you probably didn’t know about Amazon

1995: Books and more books

Amazon officially opened for business on July 16, 1995 as an online book seller. With 1 million titles in its catalog, it advertised itself as "Earth’s biggest bookstore."

The original homepage featured a "Spotlight!" section of the books "we" love. At the time that "we" was not the thousands of people Amazon employs today but Jeff Bezos, his wife MacKenzie, and seven early believers

The first sale and the packing slip

The first book Amazon sold was a copy of Douglas Hofstader’s "Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies: Computer Models of the Fundamental Mechanisms of Thought." It was purchased by Jon Wainwright, a computer scientist who had been invited to test a beta version of the e-commerce site, according to the Atlantic.

Wainwright ordered the book while he was at work over his office’s T-1 connection, he said in a Quora post. The purchase still shows up in his order history.

1999: eCards and Auctions

By 1999 — a little more than four years after it launched its site — Amazon had broadened its offerings to include sales of videos and electronics. Because people other than your great aunt were still using e-Cards, Amazon offered them too. And its short-lived auction service live.

Take note of the top three hottest books then:
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban," "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone," and "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets."

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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