The Story Behind the First Email Ever Sent

The hilarious story behind the first email message
The first email was sent in 1971 and said “QWERTYUIOP”.


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For those in a hurry

  • The first email was sent in 1971 by Ray Tomlinson, a computer engineer working on ARPANET, the precursor of the internet.
  • He used the @ symbol to separate the recipient’s name from their location, creating the now-familiar email address format.
  • He typed “QWERTYUIOP” as a test message, which he later forgot.
  • Email was initially a way for programmers and researchers to communicate quickly and efficiently, but it soon became a global phenomenon.

The Dawn of Email Communication

In the early years of the digital era, a groundbreaking event occurred in 1971 when Ray Tomlinson, a computer engineer, achieved a historic milestone in communication: he sent the first-ever email.

First Email: The Message That Started It All

The inaugural email may seem unremarkable today, but its significance lies in its simplicity. The message contained just a string of characters, “QWERTYUIOP,” and it marked the beginning of a revolutionary form of communication.

Ray Tomlinson: The Pioneer

Ray Tomlinson, the visionary behind this groundbreaking feat, was the first to use the “@” symbol to designate the destination address and sender’s name, a practice still in use today.

An Unintended Naming Convention

The choice of “QWERTYUIOP” as the content of the first email was not deliberate; Tomlinson simply wanted to test the system’s functionality. However, this string of characters would forever be etched in digital history.

The Impact on Global Communication

The advent of email revolutionized how the world communicates. It transcended geographical boundaries and time zones, facilitating instantaneous information exchange like never before.

From Prototype to Worldwide Phenomenon

What started as a modest experiment in 1971 quickly grew into a global phenomenon. Today, email is an integral part of daily life, with billions of messages sent across the globe every day.

Email’s Evolution

Over the decades, email has evolved from simple text-based messages to a diverse platform encompassing multimedia, file sharing, and secure encryption.

The Ever-Present Email

Email has withstood the test of time and remains a fundamental tool in both personal and professional communication, with no signs of slowing down.

A Pioneering Spirit

Reflecting on the first email, we celebrate the pioneering spirit that paved the way for digital communication as we know it today.


In conclusion, the first email, sent in 1971 with the simple message “QWERTYUIOP,” marked a historic moment in human communication. Ray Tomlinson’s visionary contribution to the world of digital communication paved the way for the email revolution that continues to shape our lives today. From its humble beginnings, email has grown to become an indispensable tool that transcends borders and connects people across the globe. Celebrating this pioneering spirit, we honor the significance of the first email and its lasting impact on global communication.