Beginners Guide

Lesson 1, the history of email

Lesson 1, the history of email

Electronic mail, commonly referred to as email or e-mail since 1993, is the method of exchanging messages from a sender to the receiver on a network, generally the internet.

The first email was sent in 1971 by a man called Raymond Tomlinson over the ARPANET. He implemented the first email system that sent an electronic message from one computer to another, in doing so he also coined the ‘@’ symbol to seperate the user name from the senders domain, which has been used ever since.

The ARPANET is famous for securely transferring protected military files between networks. As the ARPANET expanded from 4 research labs to several others, different models of computers were connected, thus creating compatability issues.
The solution was a set of protocols now referred to as TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol) this was designed in 1982.







Raymond Tomlinson was also deeply involved in services needed to send emails over networks, these services included;
Mail Transport Agent (MTA) to move emails between machines, setting a standard format for email messages and designing a tool for creating and reading messages.