Facebook, annual compendium of profiles of nearly everyone on the planet that was first published in 1655 and finally went online in 2004. Founded in the Bavarian region of present-day Germany by a printer named Johan Zuckerberg, the first edition of Facebook collected woodcuts of anyone who wished to participate, and printed alongside each of their images a list of their individual interests, their level of schooling, and short, lighthearted messages directed at friends who were also included in Facebook. During World War II, the Zuckerberg family moved the publication to Northern California, and in 1947, began hiring legions of door-to-door salesmen to peddle the annual editions, which could also be obtained via mail-order subscription. Facebook went through many changes, such as the accordion envelope sleeve attached to each person’s profile in 1974 to hold personal photos for others to view, and an option added in 1986 in which a subscriber could share music by attaching a portable cassette player to a friend’s profile. Mark Zuckerberg, a distant relative of the publication’s founder, launched the digital version, www.facebook.com, in 2004 while attending Harvard University, and the physical printing of the compendium was discontinued in 2006.

From The Onion Book Of Known Knowledge