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History of E-mail

The concept of electronically messaging for communication first arose in 1971 when Ray Tomlinson first sent text from one computer in his office to another.  This message transfer is most like instant messaging as we know it today. Tomlinson was the person who decided to use the @ symbol that the world has come to use for addressing email. The information before the @ symbol denotes the specific addressee, much like the name written on the first line of an envelope. The information after the @ symbol indicates the address, or the next two lines of an address on an envelope. Interestingly, Tomlinson chose this symbol because it was physically present on the standard keyboard, and it was the only preposition available on the keyboard.
However, it was not until 1978, when a group of doctors hired fourteen-year-old V.A. Shiva Ayyadurai to convert the University of Medicine and Dentistry in Newark, New Jersey’s traditional mail system into an electronic one, that email as we know it today was born. Ayyadurai attempted to replicate the process of physical mail into an electronic format. To do this, Ayyadurai observed how the doctors at the hospital created, sent, and received physical mail. He watched as secretaries typed memorandum, attached literal carbon copies of relevant attachments, and placed the communication in a container that was then sent through a physical tube like the ones used in some bank drive-through services today. He knew that he needed to create a system – one that included inboxes, outboxes, and file folders – for users to adopt this new method of communication.
Today, the public has accepted electronic mail, and the volume of email continues to grow. This means that email is here to stay in our society and it is here to stay for discovery in lawsuits.