[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

[ih] First E-Mail ?

Jorge Amodio wrote in <C60251F9-6062-40C2-8FC9-C5C7787AC1FF at gmail.com>:
 |Checking with the ?Elders? the veracity of a recent article in local \
 |news about Ben Barker (a San Antonian) sent the first E-Mail Oct 1st, 1969.
 |Can anybody confirm that?
 |My recollection is that Ray Tomlinson was the first one to send an \
 |E-Mail through ARPANet.

I was now settling on this timeline:

   Electronic mail exchange in general is a concept even older.  The earli?
   est well documented electronic mail system was part of the Compatible
   Time Sharing System (CTSS) at MIT, its MAIL command had been proposed in
   a staff planning memo at the end of 1964 and was implemented in mid-1965
   when Tom Van Vleck and Noel Morris wrote the necessary code.  Similar
   communication programs were built for other timesharing systems.  One of
   the most ambitious and influential was Murray Turoff's EMISARI.  Created
   in 1971 for the United States Office of Emergency Preparedness, EMISARI
   combined private electronic messages with a chat system, public postings,
   voting, and a user directory.

   During the 1960s it was common to connect a large number of terminals to
   a single, central computer.  Connecting two computers together was rela?
   tively unusual.  This began to change with the development of the
   ARPANET, the ancestor of today's Internet.  In 1971 Ray Tomlinson adapted
   the SNDMSG program, originally developed for the University of California
   at Berkeley timesharing system, to give it the ability to transmit a mes?
   sage across the network into the mailbox of a user on a different com?
   puter.  For the first time it was necessary to specify the recipient's
   computer as well as an account name.  Tomlinson decided that the under?
   used commercial at ?@? would work to separate the two.

   Sending a message across the network was originally treated as a special
   instance of transmitting a file, and so a MAIL command was included in
   RFC 385 on file transfer in 1972.  Because it was not always clear when
   or where a message had come from, RFC 561 in 1973 aimed to formalize
   electronic mail headers, including ?from?, ?date?, and ?subject?.  In
   1975 RFC 680 described fields to help with the transmission of messages
   to multiple users, including ?to?, ?cc?, and ?bcc?.  In 1977 these fea?
   tures and others went from best practices to a binding standard in RFC
   733.  Queen Elizabeth II of England became the first head of state to
   send electronic mail on March 26 1976 while ceremonially opening a build?
   ing in the British Royal Signals and Radar Establishment (RSRE) in

Most of these facts with credit to an article of the historian
Thomas Haigh at https://www.sigcis.org/ayyadurai.

|Der Kragenbaer,                The moon bear,
|der holt sich munter           he cheerfully and one by one
|einen nach dem anderen runter  wa.ks himself off
|(By Robert Gernhardt)
Internet-history mailing list
Internet-history at elists.isoc.org