In the past, speaking with someone who lived far away was thought to be a challenging and difficult process. Important work that needed to be done was generally delayed as letters took days, sometimes even months, to arrive.

Things started to improve with the introduction of postal systems, but then email or electronic mail arrived. The communication time was cut down to nearly nothing. Now, it is possible to compose an email, forward it to a different email account, and have the recipient see it right away. The days or months of waiting for that individual to read and respond to the messages were over. Here’s a brief timeline about this revolutionary technology:

When was email invented?

If you’re wondering when email was created, Tomlinson did it in 1971. He created a program that allowed users to communicate with other ARPANET-connected machines.

The U.S. Department of Defense Agency created the Advanced Research Projects Agency Network, or ARPANET. It transmits and receives data using packet-switch technology, which includes integrated error correction and package construction. It is, in fact, the original Internet architecture.

Email timeline 

  • 1972: The first email management program, which allows users to list, choose, forward, and reply to mails, is written in 1972 by Larry Roberts, who is also working in ARPANET.
  • 1972: Queen Elizabeth II became the first head of state to send an email message through ARPANET.
  • 1978: Gary Thuerk earned the title of “Father of Spam” in 1978 after sending several ARPANET users an email marketing message. Gary claimed to have acquired up to $13 million through the sending of spam and phishing emails.
  • 1979: Shiva Ayyadurai, then 14 years old, developed an interoffice program. The program he titled was “EMAIL.” In 1982, he proceeded to copyright the word.
  • 1988: This year saw the creation of Eudora by Steve Dorner, a program that offered a graphical user interface for email management and helped popularize email.
  • 1991: The crew of the space shuttle Atlantis sent the first-ever email from space. The message was sent using a Macintosh Portable.
  • 1992: Emails are able to be sent with character sets and multimedia files (music, photos, videos, etc.) because of MIME, or Multipurpose Internet Mail Extension.
  • 1993: Webmail was first identified by Hallam-Baker, a cybersecurity expert and employee of CERN. It was only a test version that was never meant for general use.
  • 1996: Microsoft launches Internet Mail and News 1.0, a component of its third Internet Explorer edition.
  • 1996: The launch of a few companies, notably Hotmail, that provided free, mobile internet email.
  • 2004: Gmail was introduced. It completely changed the game and became competitor to Webmail. Gmail used to give out 1 GB of storage space back then. Additionally, Gmail added additional features like email threads and improved search capabilities.

Final thoughts

People’s lives now wouldn’t be the same without emails. Emails have traveled a great distance between the 1970s and 2024. Emails have experienced radical transformations over the years. Over the course of email history, programmers and computer specialists have made substantial contributions to the numerous redesigns of emails.