Worldwide email just turned 29 officially, and there’s a history of it at That’s the web site of an M.I.T. professor who was 14 when he invented the email we all use today.

In 1978, Shiva Ayyadurai was asked if he could create a system like the inter-office mail that some companies used, but one that could be used outside of the office. He was at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey at the time. He not only could solve that problem but he got a copyright on his creation in 1982.

CompuServe and MCI Mail were the first formally-sanctioned email carriers. They arrived on the scene in 1989. Bob used CompuServe in those days and Joy started a little later with Prodigy. AOL didn’t come along until 1993. Hotmail, which is now the world’s most popular online email service, was born in 1996.

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