The First Emoticons Were Used in 1881

By Casey Chan on at

=) -_- T_T =P ;) Oh, the emoticon. Depending on who you're talking to (or I guess texting to? messaging to?) at the moment, emoticons can be as common as some words. When did they first start showing up? Did people write letters with smileys and frowny faces? Were typewriters used to express emotion through symbols? Maybe. Apparently, the first emoticons were used in 1881.

The first instance of emoticons being used in print came in the March 30, 1881 issue of Puck magazine. You can see the faces of joy, melancholy, indifference (which kind of looks like a guy with thick eyebrows and a beard) and astonishment (always my favourite) in the middle of the page under 'Typographical Art'. Our emojis have come a long, long way. [Explore]

The First Emoticons Were Used in 1881