[ih] First E-Mail ?

Alex McKenzie amckenzie3 at yahoo.com
Fri Nov 1 12:37:52 PDT 2019

Ben Barker was the first person to send user data between two ARPAnet IMPs connected by a Telco circuit.  He typed on a TTY directly connected to IMP 1, installed at UCLA, and IMP 2, installed at SRI.  His typing was reproduced on a TTY directly connected to IMP 2, and was read by Marty Thrope.  Both Ben and Marty were part of the BBN IMP team, and the purpose of their typing to each other was to verify that the IMPs and the communication circuit were working.  This happened at the time the SRI IMP and the circuit were installed, in October 1969.
Len Kleinrock and his group at UCLA, and Doug Englebart's group at SRI were the first groups to send user data from one Host computer to another.  The characters LO were submitted to the UCLA IMP from the UCLA Host and were received by the SRI Host.
Neither what Ben Barker and Marty Thrope did, or what Len Kleinrock's group and Doug Englebart's group did had anything to do with network mail, now commonly known as email.  Network mail was first sent by Ray Tomlinson from an account belonging to him on one TENEX system to another account belonging to him on another TENEX system, where the two TENEX systems were each connected to the ARPAnet and thereby to each other.  That happened in 1971.  As others have mentioned, computer mail had been sent between users of a single computer since the mid-1960's.  In y opinion it is fair to also refer to this computer mail as email but not network mail.
Hope this helps clarify the various celebrations taking place these days.
Alex McKenzieBBN 1967=1996

    On Friday, November 1, 2019, 1:58:59 PM EDT, Jorge Amodio <jmamodio at gmail.com> wrote:  
Checking with the “Elders” the veracity of a recent article in local news about Ben Barker (a San Antonian) sent the first E-Mail Oct 1st, 1969.

Can anybody confirm that?

My recollection is that Ray Tomlinson was the first one to send an E-Mail through ARPANet.

Thanks & Regards 
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Len Kleinrock and his group, and Dhttps://elists.isoc.org/mailman/listinfo/internet-history
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