Who thought that the Alexander polynomial was the only knot invariant of its kind?
I apologize that this is vague, but I'm trying to understand a little bit of the historical context in which the zoo of quantum invariants emerged.
For some reason, I have in my head the folklore:
The discovery in the 80s by Jones of his new knot polynomial was a shock because people thought that the Alexander polynomial was the only knot invariant of its kind (involving a skein relation, taking values in a polynomial ring, ??). Before Jones, there were independent discoveries of invariants that each boiled down to the Alexander polynomial, possibly after some normalization.
Is there any truth to this? Where is this written?