[SIGCIS-Members] Email Invention: Homing in on Compuserve "GO EMAIL"

Ceruzzi, Paul CeruzziP at si.edu
Thu Mar 1 06:03:01 PST 2012

Thanks for digging this up Tom. I used that service in 1984 (using a Kaypro II), and I found a note in my files, dated January, 1985, stating that "you can reach me via E-mail on Compuserve, ID # 73036.635."   BTW, that was an octal number, as the service was run off PDP-10s, unless someone can correct me. I don't think I used it before 1984.

Paul E. Ceruzzi
Chair, Division of Space History
National Air & Space Museum
MRC 311; PO Box 37012
Washington, DC 20013-7012

From: members-bounces at sigcis.org [mailto:members-bounces at sigcis.org] On Behalf Of Thomas Haigh
Sent: Wednesday, February 29, 2012 6:33 PM
To: members at sigcis.org
Subject: [SIGCIS-Members] Email Invention: Homing in on Compuserve "GO EMAIL"


I'm now homing in on CompuServe as a possible vector for the popularization of the word "email," perhaps as early as 1979.

What I know so far:

*         In 1979 Compserve, formerly a business oriented timesharing business, launched a consumer oriented $5 an hour service called Micronet. In 1980 this was rebranded as Compuserve Information Service.

*         Electronic mail using numerical DEC userIDs as account names seems to have been there from the outset.

*         There was some attempt to brand a Compuserve email service as "Infoplex," circa 1978/9 onward but this may have been a separate service aimed at business.

*         By 1984 email was definitely accessed on compuserve by typing "GO EMAIL" http://articles.adsabs.harvard.edu//full/1984IAPPP..17...11H/0000011.000.html<http://articles.adsabs.harvard.edu/full/1984IAPPP..17...11H/0000011.000.html>

*         Compuserve filed a trademark application for email in 1983, citing a first use in commerce in 1981. It was abandoned in 1984. (Verified with TESS database).

Anyone find anything to firmly document "GO EMAIL" before 1984? Micronet was used particularly with the TRS-80, so user group materials might be one source.

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