The First Thing Ever Bought Online was Weed.
Of course. Well, the transaction was in person and in cash (of course.)
It was just a little bag of weed sold through an Arpanet account in Stanford’s artificial intelligence lab in 1972. It’s not clear who was in on the sale aside from the students, but despite the underhanded nature of the deal, anyone with knowledge of the sale who wasn’t a square must have been excited about the implications of this early use of the Internet.
As the article clarifies:
The first online sale that we’d recognize as such today, complete with credit card information and the United States Postal Service, wasn’t until 1994. On August 11 that year, Dan Kohn sold a copy of the Sting album Ten Summoner’s Tales to a man in Philadelphia for $12.48 plus shipping, paid via encrypted credit card. Kohn later bragged, “Even if the N.S.A. was listening in, they couldn’t get his credit card number.”