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Text Messaging Celebrates Its 20th Birthday

(CREDIT:  AFP/GETTY)

(CREDIT: AFP/GETTY)

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By Steve Beck

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Twenty years ago today, an engineer performed a task that would forever change the way we communicate.

On December 3rd, 1992, engineer Neil Papworth is credited with sending the first-ever cell phone text message from his company in England.

The message? Papworth texted a friend “Merry Christmas.” The well wishes were 22 days early, but what Papworth did revolutionized the form of communication.

It is estimated that a combined 7.5 trillion texts, picture and video messages were sent worldwide in 2011.

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