The Man Who Invented Email

If you’re reading this, you’re online and, as such, you probably have

an email account. But have you ever wondered about the origins of

email? It’s not exactly a cut-and-dried case, as various forms of

electronic messaging have been around since the humble telegraph.

I had the opportunity to sit down with V.A. Shiva Ayyadurai,

who holds the first copyright for “EMAIL”—a system he began building in

1978 at just 14 years of age. It was modeled after the communication

system being used at the University of Medicine and Dentistry in Newark,

New Jersey. His task: replicate the University’s traditional mail

system electronically.

And with that, email—as we currently know it—was born.

In 1981, Shiva took honors at the Westinghouse Science Awards for his

“High Reliability, Network-Wide, Electronic Mail System” and attended

MIT later that fall. The copyright for the term EMAIL was granted to

Shiva in 1982, after which he won a White House competition for

developing a system to automatically analyze and sort email messages.

That technology eventually became the basis for EchoMail, a service used by several large businesses.

Credit to:  Doug Aamoth – Time Techland Magazine

Tags: , , ,