In 1971 Ray Tomlinson, a computer engineer at BBN, composes two programs to exchange electronic messages with users of ARPANet. He introduced the @ symbol, which becomes the standard way of separating the user and the user’s server. Although not designed for communication among users, ARPANet messages were commonly e-mail.
In 1971, Tomlinson sends the first e-mail exchanged between two computers using programs he’d written called CPYNET , SNDMSG and READMAIL. In 1972 ARPANet was preparing their first communication protocols, and Tomlinson’s programs are included. Together with various other e-mail programs this forms the foundation of modern e-mail systems. Tomlinson’s formula for e-mail addresses, complete with the @ symbol sticks despite some opposition and it’s soon the standard for internet based e-mail.