This might be one of my favorite articles you have ever written @Smmenen , and I am not even 1/3 of the way through it. What an incredible retrospective and researched piece.
I think this one is most fascinating to me because I have the fondest memories of the early days of Magic. I used to treasure every Duelist or Inquest magazine and read them cover to cover. Even to this day I can still quote half of the Zak Dolan vs Bertrand Lestree match. I wasn't on usenet (or even the internet for that matter) back then, so our local meta moved at a much slower pace. You played the cards you had. You slowly realized that Library of Alexandria or Swords to Plowshares were good. Having the occasional article pop up that talked about deck construction of even [gasp] tournaments decks was a treat!
I love the amount of effort you put into researching why cards such as Sword of the Ages of Dingus Egg were restricted. Many of these I could guess at, but never knew for sure (for instance, in our meta Spectral Cloaked Ali from Cairo was a thing, not Jade Monolith) which led me to playing Wrath of God maindeck.
Regardless, I loved this article. Can't wait to finish it (I personally played through a lot of the early Urza Type 1 days, no need to relive that. Too soon!). Amazing achievement. I appreciate the effort.
Would also love to see some annotations for what casting costs some of these cards might have needed to be deemed broken in your eyes. Interesting thought exercise (e.g. What casting cost, if any, makes Sword of Ages restrictable).
Thank you for this effort!