[TUHS] Who is the inventor of email?

George Michaelson ggm at algebras.org
Thu Feb 20 10:39:51 AEST 2020

Email was in the EMAS system in Edinburgh university very soon after
full multiaccess services were released, Certainly by the early 1970s.
By the time VMS was released, email between nodes was a fact of life.
JANET had email in the coloured book series. It was ubiquitous by the
late 1970s.

It is important not to mistake the formal syntactic mechanism of
saying who you are mailing, with where they are, as a definition of
user at host, the actual mechanism of saying "send this to <x>" can be
completely decoupled from having names, host names, domain names or
any analogous construct. Mail existed long before we had to do
"shebang" paths, and I mean mail between discrete, independent


On Thu, Feb 20, 2020 at 11:33 AM Deborah Scherrer
<dscherrer at solar.stanford.edu> wrote:
> A version of email was included in the original DARPA version of the
> internet.  This was early 1970s.  In fact, when we played with and
> evaluated it at Lawrence Berkeley Lab, our report noted that the
> internet would probably not be very useful for exchanging scientific
> files (as had been the original purpose).  However, we did note that
> email might become very useful.   ;-)
> Deborah
> On 2/19/20 4:06 PM, Ed Carp wrote:
> > I've noticed that some guy named Dr. Shiva Ayyadurai is all over
> > Twitter, claiming that he is the inventor of email. He doesn't look
> > like he's nearly old enough. I thought it was Ray Tomlinson. Looks
> > like he's trying to create some press for his Senate run.
> >
> > Anyone older that me here that can either confirm or deny? Thanks!

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