Newspaper Clipping Reveals ‘Face-book’ … From 1902

Believe it or not, Facebook has been around for 10 years now, celebrating its anniversary Tuesday and remembering its early days as a site solely for college students to one that now has more than a billion users ranging from 13-year-olds to grandparents and everyone in between. But what you might not realize is that the idea for a “Face-book” of sorts was actually around in the early 1900s.

“The latest novelty for wiling the time in a country house is known as a ‘Face-book,'” an article published in April 1902 in a U.K. newspaper called The Western Times read. “Everyone who comes to stay has to draw a face in the album, however badly, and sign his name underneath. The result is very amusing, and the worst drawings frequently cause the greatest entertainment.”

This clipping showing an old-fashioned “face-book” is from a newspaper article published in 1902. (Image source: British Newspaper Archive)

The British Newspaper Archive dredged up this clipping in time for the anniversary of the digital Facebook modern users have come to know.

“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,” Amy Sell with the British Newspaper Archive said, according to the U.K.’s Daily Mail.

As for the modern Facebook, it was started 10 years ago by the then Harvard sophomore Mark Zuckerberg.

There are 1.23 billion Facebook users today, or roughly 17 percent of the world’s population. More Americans check the social networking site daily than read the Bible, and it has more monthly users worldwide than most continents have people.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.