You know it, you love it, but do you know the history of electronic mail? Look no further, here’s a bit of background on why we take to our inboxes for communication.

30 years ago last week – it was August 30, 1982, if you’re being specific – Shiva Ayyadurai received his formal registration for the copyright of his Electronic Mail System, or “EMAIL”, computer program,. This was one of the first electronic versions of paper-mail systems. However, the debate of who really invented email remains up in the air. Though the term “email” did not exist officially before 1982, many people credit the invention of the functionality of what we now know as email to Ray Tomlinson, who in October 1971, sent the first network email to another user using the TEXNEX time sharing program. If we hold true to this date, then the first email ever sent would be just over the hill at 41 years next month!

What do you think? Does functionality count over a naming convention? Who should be crowned the almighty title of “Inventor of Email”?