“…we call it Email…”

By Deane Barker on January 28, 2009

Flickr Photo Download: 1983 Compuserve Ad: I really love this CompuServe ad from 1983.

Last night, we exchange letters with Mom, then had a party for eleven people in nine different states and only had to wash one glass…

I’m not up my on Net history, because I didn’t know they were doing this back in ‘83. If someone had asked me, I’d have pegged something like this at the early 90’s.

Gadgetopia

Comments

  1. Youngster. :) I got my first modem in the mid 80s, and CompuServe aka CompuSpend was going strong then. Had to love the 12345.1234@compuserve.com email addies. :) I remember they charged an arm and a leg to connect at high speed. 2400. :) Daytime charges were astronomical.

    Eric

  2. Did they actually have a trademark on the phrase “Email” or was that just a publicity thing? I’d be really interested in some history behind it.

    I know AP style lists it as e-mail instead, I wonder if that came from not infringing on copyright stuff?

  3. According to the USPTO:

    Word Mark: EMAIL

    Goods and Services: (ABANDONED) IC 042. US 101. G & S: AN ELECTRONIC MAIL SYSTEM. FIRST USE: 19810401. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 19810401

    Mark Drawing Code: (1) TYPED DRAWING

    Serial Number: 73432146

    Filing Date: June 27, 1983

    Current Filing Basis: 1A

    Original Filing Basis: 1A Owner: (APPLICANT) COMPUSERVE INCORPORATED CORPORATION OHIO 5000 ARLINGTON CENTRE BLVD. P. O. BOX 20212 COLUMBUS OHIO 43220

    Attorney of Record: RICHARD S. LOVERING

    Type of Mark: SERVICE MARK

    Register: PRINCIPAL

    Live/Dead Indicator: DEAD

    Abandonment Date: August 20, 1984

  4. Lets see …

    • 1971 – Mail Box Protocol
    • 1982 – RFC 821 – SMTP
    • 1984 – RFC 1984 – POP

    Yup. it’s possible. :-)

  5. Email in 1983 is about as luxurious as home theaters are today. In 1984, the Apple Macintosh costs $2400. I first got online using 33.6k in 1997; I couldn’t have imagined that 10 years later, I would be downloading at 10,240 kbps on the same telephone line (ADSL user-end connected to 10Mbps FTTB)

  6. I see that the ad came from an old BYTE magazine. I know I have have a few old BYTE and Commodore Gazette magazines somewhere in a box (unless the wife got to them). My mid 1980s was spent with my Commodore Vic-20 and 65 using 300, 1200 and eventually 2400 baud modems.

    While I didn’t have CompuServe (too expensive) we had plenty of free BBS in the Kansas City area. Those BBS had their own type of email that worked much the same way. Either way, it’s important to remember that CompuServe’s email at the time didn’t go too much further than another CompuServe email account.

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