Email actually stands for “electronic mail.” This is a system by which electronic messages can be sent, received and stored. Today, you’ll have a hard time finding someone in the United States who has never used email. In many cases email has actually become the preferred method for both personal and business communications.
It is still somewhat uncertain when email was actually invented. However, American Ray Tomlinson is oftentimes regarded as the father of the modern day email system. Prior to Tomlinson people could send one another messages whenever they were on the same computer but computers were unable to talk to each other, even if they were networked together. Herein Tomlinson has been credited with one of 20th century’s most important communication inventions: email.
Tomlinson was able to create a system wherein each user and their computer was given a named identity. This led to the basic formula that we have today whereby our email is seen as name@computer. Over the years email has remained looking the same. The only real difference that has come about with email is that the computer name is now commonly replaced with the name of a service provider.
Even the way that we access our email has remained the same over the years. The two most common ways include a client software (the original but least flexible way in which to access your email) and web mail (a newer, much more convenient way in which to access your email). Webmail is typically found within a “portal” where you won’t just be able to access your email but to also provide you with access to a search engine, the latest news headlines, your own personal calendar and many other resources that can all be accessed from this one single spot.
It is important to understand that these are just some basic historic facts about email. There are a lot of other things that have gone into the creation of email as we know it today. If this article has piqued your interest, you’re encouraged to further research the history of email.