SNOBOL was designed in 1962 by a research group at Bell Laboratories as an aid to their own applications in symbolic formula manipulation. It was designed around string-processing, pattern-matching and textual transformation.
SNOBOL introduced most of the concepts of character string processing. It contains an unusually powerful collection of string processing functions in comparison to those of other languages. It was extremely powerful and elegant within its problem of domain. It also introduced a viable high-level approach to string analysis through pattern matching.
Source: SIGPLAN notices, "Programming Languages" by Tucker