Though we're pretty sure that time travelers don't exist, people were working on hypertext -- used by web browsers to retrieve connected information -- long before computers. It even predates the ideas of a certain Vannevar Bush, the man generally acknowledged as having laid the groundwork for hypertext by microfiche in a seminal 1945 article. Nope, according to the Atlantic, some people were pondering ways of storing and retrieving information prior even to the 20th century. A Belgian genius called Paul Otlet posited an idea in 1895 about "universal libraries" to give anyone access to a vast number of books. By 1934 he had refined it to "electronic telescopes" that would connect people instantly to books, films, audio recordings and photos.