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When was the first emoticon born?

In our life we ​​are able to express different emotions, our facial expressions are very rich and diverse. It is well known that our interlocutor receives 80% of information through non-verbal channels of perception: facial expressions, gestures.

When communicating on the Internet, we use emoticons to express our mood:
🙂 – smiling
🙁 – I’m sad
: -O – surprise
XD – terribly funny
-% – @ – give a flower

September 19th is considered the birthday of the “emoticon”.
Where did they come from and who invented them?

Emoticons, otherwise emoticons (smile – smile) – these are icons made of punctuation marks, letters and numbers, indicating some kind of emotions. They are widely used when communicating on the Internet – in letters, forums, chats, etc. Recently, text emoticons are gradually becoming a thing of the past, and graphic ones are replacing them – funny pictures depicting faces, objects, signs, actions.

The first emoticons appeared even earlier and not on the Internet: in America in December 1963, the artist Harvey Bell, on the occasion of the merger of two insurance companies into one State Mutual Life Assurance Cos corporation. of America painted the first perky smiling face, which was placed on the badges of the company’s employees.

In the 70s, the emoticon gained immense popularity: it began to be printed on stamps, t-shirts, backpacks, pencils … Products with the image of emoticons brought huge incomes to everyone except its creator.

However, the first one to patent a smiley as a trademark was a certain Frenchman Franklin Lowfrani in 1971. He managed to patent his trademark in 80 countries. Smiley Licensing Corporation acted all over the world, except the USA, of course, and brought its owner a big profit.

As for Harvey Bell, in the end he also patented his smile and created the company World Smile Corporation (which is now headed by his son, Charles Bell). This person had a dream – to become the “international ambassador of happiness” on the whole Earth. It was Harvey Bell who proposed celebrating October 1 as International Smile Day. It was decided to use all profits from World Smile Corporation for charitable purposes.

In 2002, a Microsoft employee, Mike Jones, searched the network for the first message containing emoticons. So they decided to consider the date of birth of the symbol on September 19, 1982. Scott E. Fahlman, a professor at Carnegie Mellon Private University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA, used it. This is what his letter looked like using the first emoticons:

19-Sep-82 11:44 Scott E Fahlman 🙂 From: Scott E Fahlman I propose that the following character sequence for joke markers: 🙂 Read it sideways.

Actually, it is probably more economical to mark things that are NOT jokes, given current trends. For this, use 🙁

It should be noted that this historical event was preceded by a whole scientific discussion, which today seems very funny. Researchers have been discussing for a long time: which emoticons to use for expressing a “joke” or “sad”.

Now on the Internet there are a wide variety of emoticons: not only expressing emotions, but also depicting various characters, zodiac signs, flags, signs with slogans (chanting emoticons), smiley letters, New Year’s emoticons …

There are special sites on the Internet where you can download emoticon sets for yourself, as well as create and draw your own emoticons, share them, give and send these “smiling faces” to friends and acquaintances.

Over the 25-plus years of its existence, the “emoticon” has become an invariable attribute of electronic communication, and many can no longer imagine how one could manage without it.

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