*by Shane Treeves, Time Traveler
You may remember 1998 as a glorious year filled with endless games of Snake on your brick phone (you couldn’t go through the walls yet) and listening to “Baby One More Time” at max volume on your discman. Meanwhile, in Susan Wojcicki’s disused garage in California, two university students, Larry and Sergey, decided they were going to organize the world’s information and make it accessible to everyone.
To celebrate Google’s 20th birthday, today we invite you to travel back in time and take a virtual stroll through the original Google Garage in Street View—(almost) just like it was 20 years ago.
As you walk through the garage’s side door, you’ll note a familiar Search box on an old “CRT” computer monitor held up by a wooden workhorse table with yellow legs. Larry and Sergey were particularly thrilled that use of the washing machine and dryer was included in their rent.
As you chase cables that scramble haphazardly down the hallway, you’ll find a bedroom (ahem, “main office”) with a whiteboard that reads “Google’s Worldwide Headquarters” in black text. On another whiteboard, you’ll see a cheeky homage to Google’s logo update back in 1998. Doesn’t the delightful wallpaper remind you of tea at your grandparents' place?
As the team grew to six people, they expanded their workspaces into the three small bedrooms on the ground floor. Hunt around and you’ll find a collapsible mini rainbow sphere, a surf-frog terrarium, a dinosaur, a ping pong table, and a piano keyboard for music breaks.
If you want to see exactly how the same space looked back in 1998, check out this archival video clip captured by Harry, Google’s sixth employee.
For a peek through Google history, just find the secret trapdoor and turn on the neon light—a secret easter egg world awaits you.