03.05.

1978: How SPAM Mail Got its Name

1978: How SPAM Mail Got its Name
Photo Credit To Wikipedia Commons / An email box folder littered with spam messages

Story Highlights

  • Historical event
  • 3 May 1978
  • Canned SPAM really is produced in America, and the name derived from the abbreviation for SPiced hAM.

On this day in 1978 the first SPAM was sent via e-mail. 

The perpetrator was Gary Thuerk, who sent promotional material to 293 different addresses at the ARPANET (precursor of the Internet, developed under the U.S. Department of Defense).

The submitted material contained an ad for a new computer company DEC (Digital Equipment Corporation).

Recipients of the first spam were angry, but the whole event still resulted in an increase in sales of the mentioned computers.

The term SPAM for such a message was taken from a Monty Python sketch, where it indicated a type of canned food which appears as an ingredient in all the dishes in a restaurant.

Canned SPAM really is produced in America, and the name is derived from the abbreviation for SPiced hAM.

Nowadays electronic spam makes 80-85% of the entire world’s e-mail circulation. The leading generator of spam in the world is India (13.9%), followed by Russia (9.0%) and Vietnam (7.9%).

 

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