When was the first email sent?

1971! The first email was sent by a very bright chap named Ray Tomlinson who, way back in 1971, developed the software that allowed messages to be sent between computers. He was then working at an American firm that was helping develop the forerunner of the Internet. Unfortunately, Tomlinson can't remember what he wrote in the very first test email - although he has suggested it might simply have been the word "testing". Tomlinson also randomly decided to use "@" to designate email addresses - an off-the-cuff decision that probably saved the once obscure symbol from extinction.