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It is standard practice among authors discussing the minimum spanning tree problem to refer to the work of Kruskal(1956) and Prim (1957) as the sources of the problem and its first efficient solutions, despite the citation by both of Boruvka (1926) as a predecessor. In fact, there are several apparently independent sources and algorithmic solutions of the problem. They have appeared in Czechoslovakia, France, and Poland, going back to the beginning of this century. We shall explore and compare these works and their motivations, and relate them to the most recent advances on the minimum spanning tree problem.