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[ih] question re. early adoption of email

>I have been led to believe that (one of) the earliest forms of "email" 
>consisted of UUCPing (or later, ftping) document files around.
>I was not there, then.

I was.  There was indeed a lot of uucp mail, but it came out of the
unix community in the late 1970s which at the time had only a small
overlap with the Arpanet community.  All you needed was an ordinary
dialup modem, and someone who was willing to talk to you.  Many sites
buried the toll calls in the company's overall phone bill.  Although
uucp is older than usenet and netnews, they took off together since
the same uucp connection you used for your usenet fix also handled

There was a certain amount of informal leakage between Arpanet mail
and uucp -- in the mid 1980s you could reach me at ima!johnl at cca.

A little googlage will reveal a lot of interesting technology related
to uucp, such as Peter Honeyman's uucp mapping project which created
a distributed (by uucp) database of uucp sites so we didn't have to
know that path to each node, and the Telebit trailblazer modem which
had special microcode to fake out the uucp "g" transport layer and
take better advantage of phone capacity.