On December 3, 1992, 22-year-old British programmer Neil Papworth sent the first ever Short Message Service (SMS) from a computer to colleague Richard Jarvis.

Mr Papworth had been working as a developer and test engineer to create a Short Message Service for Vodafone, so typed out ‘Merry Christmas’ on a computer from their base in Newbury, Berkshire.

Mr Jarvis, then a director at the company, successfully received the message on his Orbitel 901 handset – and the pathway to modern messaging was born.

A digital replica of the world’s first ever text message is set to go under the hammer, where it is expected to fetch more than £150,000.

The auction will be conducted in Paris on 21 December 2021 by Aguttes, the first independent auction house in France.

Vodafone has said it plans to donate all proceeds from the auction to UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, to support the 82.4 million people who have been forced to flee their homes due to conflict and persecution.

According to dailymail