The @ symbol was invented by calligraphers (professional handwriters) in the 700s as an abbreviation for the ancient Roman (Latin) word ad meaning ‘at, to, towards’. About five hundred years ago, the Spanish used the @ symbol for the word arroba, a unit of measure for jars that carried wine and oils. The Greeks called these jars amphora. Over many years, as traders travelled in northern Europe, they used the @ symbol to mean ‘at a price of’. In 1880, the symbol was included in the keys on a typewriter. In the mid 1900s, the typewriter keyboard became the computer keyboard. In 1971, the @ symbol was used for the first time as part of an email address.