The Webpage FX blog compiled a list of 13 internet "firsts," from the first email sent (1971) and the first spam, sent out to 400 people (1978), to the first photo posted online (1992) and much later, the first Instagram photo, (2010).
So the banner ad turned 10 a few days ago, according to dabitch, but what I find more fascinating is that its first use was in connection with all those AT&T "You Will" television commercials from the early '90s. Here, collected on one page, for your consideration, are those ads. As Frau Farbissina would screech: "Lies. ALL LIES!" Well, perhaps AT&T didn't lie to us about all their predictions, but I'm still waiting for my "intelligent assistant" who'll work on those playoff tickets for me. How many predictions did they make that came true can you find here?
GINORMOUS banner ad at download.com. From what I can tell, it only auto-expands on the first visit, presumably cookied, but I was still pretty annoyed. If you click to view, it blows up again, runs a little commercial at you(sndtrk by Madonna), and shrinks again. A little better than the layout-destroying monoliths other sites are using?
The hideous jabbering head of Henry Rollins? While you're there, check out the banner ad for Avalon High, too. They don't seem to have many sponsors, so it should only take a reload or two to make it come up. Or you could just go directly there with the previous link.