In Brief

A brief history of electronic messages, from the Queen’s first mail to the triumph of spam

This article titled “How did email grow from messages between academics to a global epidemic?” was written by Samuel Gibbs, for theguardian.com on Monday 7th March 2016 15.07 UTC

Ray Tomlinson, the man who literally put the “@” in email, died on Saturday, but his invention, which allowed electronic messages to spread across the internet and fill our lives and our inboxes on a daily basis, will live on.

Here is a brief look at what Tomlinson started and the evolution of email through the last half-century.

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