Our 50th Year Icon

The Sun’s forays into technology have often been halting, grudging, and tardy. A computer didn’t appear in the magazine’s offices until the late 1980s, and even then it got less attention than the typewriters. We didn’t have a fax machine until a reader bought one for us — because he wanted to fax us something and couldn’t.

The Sun’s first-ever website launched in August 1999, into a world of staticky dial-up tones, GeoCities, and frequent buffering. It came about thanks to the generosity of two Sun subscribers: Shelley Sherman and her partner, Meredith Tupper, owners of the small web-design company PintSize Graphics & Web Hosting. Wanting the magazine they loved to have a presence on the Internet, Sherman and Tupper took it upon themselves to build a modest, stately website that perhaps undersold the magazine: “If you haven’t heard of The Sun,” the About page read, “you’re not alone.”

For years the website was serviceable, if nowhere near the robust space where we currently share news and special features, announce events, and allow people to submit their writing and photography. And that’s not to mention our digital archive, featuring everything that appears in the print edition, which has been an even larger undertaking than the website itself. But today’s website still endeavors to do what that first version did: bring The Sun to a wide array of readers.

To see how our website looked when it first appeared, visit thesunmagazine.org/1999.