Good Question: How Did E-Mail Get Started?

(CBS 5) –- In this day and age, we couldn’t function as a society without it. Sharon in Santa Rosa asked this Good Question: How did e-mail get started?

ANSWER: According to Brian Cooley at CNET, the Internet and E-Mail started in 1961 under the name, ARPANET. It was developed by the U.S. Department of Defense as a classified system.

(© CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

  • david donnelly

    Email, as we have come to call it, was one of the original “selling points” when Congress was approached about the creation of a network of computers that could connect defense manufacturers, and other government/private research sectors to enable more optimal and accurate sharing of information. This became the bacbone known as DARPANET. Eventually the functionality and participating population was expanded to include less-than-secret clearance thus enabling access to the totality of commerce and business. This didn’t really happen until Tim Berners Lee, et. al., created a much more robust and extensible interpreter that allows mixed media (we call the structure HyperText Mark-up Lamguage, or HTML.) Now even email, which was slow to adopt the newer format of HTML, and remained largely purely text based until about 10-15 years became more popular in the packaging and communication of mail.
    So, in a very real sense, the invention and evolution of e-mail is that of the modern internet in and of itself.

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