The History of @

Ever wonder where the snail tail comes from? According to the Smithsonian, it dates all the way back to the 1500s, when an Italian merchant used it to denote jugs of wine. By 1971, it was the least-used key on a modern keyboard, which led ARPAnet's Ray Tomlinson to code it into the email protocol, thus "saving it from going the way of the cent sign."