• web
  • email

The internet and email

This is a subject that I like to research from time to time. Occassionally, as I run across a resource I may update this list. If you wish to contribute information, please include source and email nate at this domain.

Electronic mail was first "invented" in 1965 by Tom Van Vleck, and implemented over ARPANET (the predecessor of the internet) in 1971 by Ray Tomlinson, who incidentally was the one who brought us the @ sign in email at that time.

RFC 561 in 1973 defined the email headers so different systems could pass messages more efficiently and by sometime that year fully 73% of all traffic on the ARPANET was electronic mail messages. By 1975 Steve Walker at ARPA actually created a message group (MsgGrp) whose sole purpose was to discuss standards in email headers because there were by that time, so many different email clients that it was getting difficult to manage including many commercial email packages by 1976. RFC 733 in 1977 was the result of this collaboration between many people.