NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Those of us who can remember back to the early days of America Online probably recall that cringe-inducing modem sound and the "you've got mail" sound effect.
But did you know that AOL (AOL) actually started out as a completely different company that had nothing to do with email or chat rooms?
The company that today owns Huffington Post, TechCrunch and other media properties started in the early 1980s as Control Video Corp., which sold a game downloading service for the Atari video game console.
The venture didn't last and was eventually reorganized as Quantum Computer Services in 1985. Quantum offered an online service named Q-Link. It launched its first instant messenger program in 1989 and it was then the famous "you've got mail" line was born, according to AOL's official history.
The company was renamed America Online in 1991 and went public the following year. With Verizon's (VZ) announcement that it plans to acquire AOL for $4.4 billion, TheStreet takes readers through some major developments at the company since it went public in 1992. Click through to check out some of the most important moments of AOL's story. And when you're done be sure to check out how AOL's logos have changed over the years.
1. 1992 -- Going Public
Under CEO Steve Case, who helped reform the defunct Control Video Corp. into America Online, the company began trading on the Nasdaq Stock Market on March 19, 1992 under the ticker "AOL." The IPO was priced at $11.50. Shares rose 28.3% in its first day or trading to close at $14.75.