In the 1970s there was no cursor editable history for shells.
The first shell with integrated cursor editable history was my
bsh in 1984 (based on a prototype from 1982). This history implementation uses crontrol-r to redisplay the current commandline.
In 1986, the Korn Shell became a member of the group of shells that implement a fully integrated cursor editable history.
A tcsh version with integrated editor first appeared in 1987.
Bash appeared in 1989.
Ksh by default does not run in
emacs mode but rather in
Note that ksh93 does support searching with control-r even in default mode, it just does not tell you that it is in that mode. If I type:
I get this echoed and then can enter a search string:
it finds the alias command in the history.