While browsing through my file archives some years ago, I ran across a few folders of locally cached web pages. Browsers like Netscape and Internet Explorer saved these files in order to speed up load times upon future visits to the same sites. Browsers today do the same thing, but the functionality was far more vital in the days of sluggish dial-up modem connections.
From those folders, I culled a large collection of vintage web banner advertisements from 1996 to 2001. Each one is a bite-sized time capsule of web and Internet history, recalling events and trends of the day. You're about to see a big 'ole gallery of these ads with minimal captions that include a month and year they were captured (I got this from the file dates of the images). A few of the ads betray some interesting browsing habits, like the two for online gambling sites. I blame my brother.
If you're tempted to click on any of these (like I am) then I suppose these ads did their job, but you won't find anything on the other side. Most of the sites advertised in these banner ads went out of business long ago.
If you have any memories of the products or sites showcased in these ads, please feel free to share them in the comments below.
Ads from 1996
Ads from 1997
Ads from 1998
Ads from 1999
Ads from 2001