The History of Email: Happy 29th Anniversary

On August 30th, 29 years ago, V. A. Shiva copyrighted “EMAIL” after he invented an interface that resembles the one we still use today with the fields “To: From: Cc: Bcc: Subject: Reply, Reply All, Forward” as well as an EMAIL body and attachment.

For this anniversary, V. A. Shiva designed the infographic below depicting the History of Email and Growth of Email Accounts.

As V. A Shiva states on his website “Starting in 1978, I began creating the first EMAIL system while 14-years old, at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ).  In fact the term “Electronic Mail”, “EMAIL” itself was a new term.  The two words, “Electronic” and “EMAIL” juxtaposed together for me originally brought images of vaporizing paper and somehow transporting it across electrical wires, like the transporter in Star Trek. ”

30 years later he now teaches a class at MIT called “Systems Visualization”.

Read more about V.A Shiva’s story of  email here:

Note:electronic messaging predates V. A. Shiva Ayyadurai’s work in 1978. However, Ayyadurai holds the copyright to the computer program called “email,” establishing him as the creator of the “computer program for <an> electronic mail system” with that name, according to the U.S. Copyright Office.

A brief but accurate history of email is available here: 

Edit 2013: It should be noted many feel this graphic is a mis-representation of the history, and a full technical refutation is available here:  
Click the infographic to view it full size

The founder of, Andrew Bonar currently resides not far from Sydney in Australia where he performs his primary role as Postmaster for self-service ESP Campaign Monitor

In the past two years alone Andrew has been responsible for the delivery of in excess of 120 Billion messages. With more than 15 years of industry experience, Andrew is widely recognised as a leader in the field of message sending, deliverability and compliance.

In 1996, he co-founded the UK’s oldest privately held ISP, Cheapnet Ltd. In 1998, launched the UK’s first privately held eCommerce payment systems: eBanx Ltd, and in 2003 he launched two of the very first ESP’s in Europe: MailPhoenix and eMailGenie.

From 2006 Andrew served as an independent consultant at organisations throughout Europe, the Middle East, Asia Pacific and the US. More recently serving as Worldwide Director of Deliverability at Emailvision, managing deliverability operations in 22 Countries. Andrew continues developing and evangelising best practices in permission-based marketing with clients and industry associations and travels extensively in Asia, Europe and North America to fulfil these obligations.

Related posts


  1. Pingback: Email – Closing on the big 3 – 0! « 2ndimpression's Blog

  2. Pingback: Email Marketing Summit Australia: Be Inspired | EmailExpert | Email Marketing

  3. Link Worx Seo said:

    After reading through this blog, I never truly realized how e-mail got started. I actually did reports in college on the history of the Internet and how it was started and not once did the fantastic display of information regarding e-mail come up in the sources I cited for my report. Thank you for sharing this infographic, got a great break down of the history. It is very amazing to notice the difference in subscribers by every other year.

Comments are closed.


The continued use of this site, indicates you agree to our use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this. Click below for the detailed policy in relation to cookies.

Cookie Policy for emailexpert