A friend of mine remembers learning about “computer mail” back in the 1980s, which was available only to academics. Today, we know this system as email.
The use of email has certainly impacted the postal service, but not so completely as to “do away” with it. We still send letters and documents.
In the 1880s, the notion of combining the typewriter with the telegraph — or some other messaging system — was heralded as a distinctly practical possibility. The Illustrated Phonographic World, March 1895, observed, “A device is almost perfected for sending messages and having them written out automatically in Roman characters as rapidly as ten operators can work under the present system… It will in due time practically do away with the sending of letters by mail.”
This device is outlined in the following article:
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