[TUHS] who invented the email attachment?
Mary Ann Horton
mah at mhorton.net
Sun Mar 19 09:46:06 AEST 2017
I'd like the opinion of this August Group.
Should I make a claim to be the inventor of the email attachment? (It
would go on my web site, resume, the Wikipedia page, that sort of thing.)
Here's my understanding of the time line on all of this.
1. Originally, our files were all plain text and we just included them
in the email message body. The ~r command in Kurt Shoen's Mail
program was typical. There was no name for this, we were just
2. In 1980, I wrote uuencode. It's stated purpose was to "encode a
binary file for transmission by email". I didn't use the term
"attachment". It became part of 4.0BSD and later systems, and was
3. In 1985, Lotus created cc:Mail. It eventually included attachments,
using a file store method. When they added an SMTP gateway later,
it used uuencode as the format. I believe cc:Mail first used the
4. Microsoft did the same thing with MS Mail somewhat later, possibly
in the 1990s. It also used uuencode in the SMTP gateway.
5. In 1992, Nathaniel Borenstein and Ned Freed invented MIME. It had a
different (and IMHO much better) way to send attachments, and it
became an Internet Standard sometime later, possibly in 1996.
What do you all think?
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