Great article on the history of Ethernet. Hm i wonder if you can still get thicknet
Thicknet was a nightmare in the day, but it did work. As for speed, there wasn't as much data in the day, nor were printers required to handle a steady diet of graphics - so the bandwidth was suitable for the applications. People weren't using the networks for streaming video or VOIP or torrents. Nor would the computers of the day be up to the task of feeding high speed ethernets - considering that those computers were just able to feed the low speeds of the day.