June 19, 2024
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We were talking in the office today about how Blackberry email service wesnt down yesterday but the phone themselves still worked. Those phones are rock solid they have been around for 50 years.

This made me wonder about email. Email has been around since 1971 according to this page.  Of course before that there was text messaging, people could send a message around to other users on the same computer since the early 60’s(remember there were no PCs at that time).

So thinking back, I have been using email since about 1992 when I was on BBSs but I was wondering when all of the emailing between people started and found this quote buried in the email article on Wikipedia:

In 1988, Vint Cerf arranged for an interconnection of MCI Mail with NSFNET on an experimental basis. The following year Compuserve e-mail interconnected with NSFNET. Within a few years the commercial traffic restriction was removed from NSFNETs AUP, and NSFNET was privitized.

So maybe 1988 is really when “internet” email got started although there was probably a few before that that I am having trouble finding.

It looks like there is a strange vacuum in the history of email that was not documented because it did not seem overly important at that time.