Electronic mail or “network mail” as it was known at the time, was invented by Raymond Tomlinson, a member of the Internet Hall of Fame’s inaugural class.
Versions of email actually predate the Internet, but they weren’t able to travel far. The first example of email was a program called MAILBOX which was developed at MIT in the early 1960s for people who were a few hundred feet apart.
The first host-to-host connection of the ARPANET, the precursor to the modern Internet, occurred in 1969 and three years later emails were able to travel across the Internet.
Gizmodo highlights the history of email, what it looked like and how it was used 40 years ago, when it first began.