Jun 21, 2018

No, no, I am not confusing the seasons. (Then again; I had to defrost the windshield of my car this morning) “Merry Christmas is the answer to the question, brought up in this blog by Oezguer two days ago.

“What interested me the most was what this (first) SMS was saying. So I am guessing it was the classic “Hello World”. Unfortunately I have never been able to find out what it really said”.

The correct answer is: “Merry Christmas”. This was the text of the very first SMS, which was sent on December 3rd, 1992 by the Briton Neil Papworth, the inventor of the SMS. He sent this message to his customer, Richard Javis, a Vodafone Manager whom he knew had been on a Christmas party at the time. Therefore “Merry Christmas”.

Hence the SMS stepped into the world with kind triviality. And this kind triviality has also marked the stellar rise of the SMS. It is the profound reason why liability and security are of no importance for the SMS. One point in the history of the SMS fittingly sums it up: Neil Papworth has of course been anxious to find out if his SMS had been received by Richard Jarvis. So what did he do? He called Jarvis and asked him.

If you would like to know have more details you can read the Interview with Neil Papworth here (german magazin).

Thomas Siegner