Email Turns 50, LISTSERV is 35

Email Stays Relevant, Widely Used for Our Everyday Business and Personal Communications

Bethesda (June 21, 2021) – Half a century ago, in 1971, Ray Tomlinson invented email using the @ sign to separate the username and destination server, "user@host". The first networked email system was born. From that point onward, people could send messages on the network of that time, ARPANET.

Fast-forward a decade and BITNET, aka, "Because It's Time Network" is introduced. Tim Berners-Lee hadn't invented the World Wide Web yet. But people kept the networks of the mid-1980s busy despite minimal bandwidth. Email lists existed on LISTSERV@BITNIC as of 1984, but they required manual administration.

As mailing lists grew to be more popular, the manual system became burdensome to maintain. This sparked Eric Thomas, then an engineering student in Paris, to invent LISTSERV software, to automate mailing lists once and for all – and save bandwidth, too. From then on, the Internet culture of communications and knowledge exchange could continue to flourish.

The first version of LISTSERV software, called Revised LISTSERV at the time, was released in June 1986. It's the same LISTSERV® software today, with the first spam filter, double opt-in subscription confirmation and many more innovations and features continuously added throughout its 35 years and beyond.

Learn More:

Early History of LISTSERV
History of LISTSERV
The Internet and Email History Timeline

"My generation envisioned the world that we see today where the Internet is at the center of everything. It was our dream, our life project, and we made it happen." - Eric Thomas, Inventor of LISTSERV

About L-Soft

L-Soft is the exclusive provider of LISTSERV® email list technology and related services for global digital communications. Organizations across all sectors rely on L-Soft's permission email solutions to manage email newsletters, announcement lists, discussion groups and email communities. Invented by L-Soft Founder and CEO Eric Thomas in 1986, LISTSERV pioneered automated email list management and remains the de facto industry standard. In 2021, L-Soft celebrates the 35th anniversary of LISTSERV.

L-Soft Press Contact

Susan Brown Faghani
1-301-731-0440, Ext 4

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