25 years ago: the world’s first text message

25 years ago: the world’s first text message

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The British engineer who sent the world’s first text message says he’s quite proud of the mini revolution he started 25 years ago. Neil Papworth sent the first SMS to Richard Jarvis, then director of Vodafone. The message was quite simple: “Merry Christmas” – and it was not abbreviated to ‘Xmas’. Jarvis was unable to reply at the time it was not possible to send text messages from mobile phones, only to receive them. Papworth had sent the SMS from his computer. It wasn’t until 1993 that mobile phones could send messages back. London’s Science Museum says the SMS marked a turning point in the history of phones and communications. Phones had already been around for more than a century but the SMS changed their function making talking optional.