[Note: I'm no native english speaker]
1981 David Chaum first introduced Mix-Networks.
1995 Tor began its life as a research project in the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL), where 1996 three researchers at the NRL published the seminal paper 'Hiding Routing Information' (D. Goldschlag, M. Reed, P. Syverson) and coined the term 'onion routing' which introduced the layer encryption.
As seen in '2. Backgrounds' of their work, its based on the Mix-Network of D. Chaum.
Now I am wondering if Mix-Networks picked that feature up known as Mix-Kaskading since I can read about this on their wiki:
Each message is encrypted to each proxy using public key cryptography; the resulting encryption is layered like a Russian doll (except that each "doll" is of the same size) with the message as the innermost layer. Each proxy server strips off its own layer of encryption to reveal where to send the message next. If all but one of the proxy servers are compromised by the tracer, untraceability can still be achieved against some weaker adversaries.
Because otherwise Mix-Networks would have had 'onion-routing' before the Tor-Network and I don't understand how they coined the term 'onion routing' with their work.
I'm sorry if I am misunderstanding something here, but currently im reasearching the Tor Network and was interested in his history.