The development of the neutral injection (NI) system for the Joint European Torus and its status in 1985 are reported. First the system parameters are discussed and the layout is described, followed by a summary of the physics design calculations, the development, production, and testing of the components and the subsystem assembly. The system commissioning is presented subsequently, including a description of the function and the realization of the NI test bed. A summary of performance predictions for 80-keV beam heating experiments, and of the experimental evidence on balanced versus coinjection, is presented. The operational experience with the first injector and the plasma physics results obtained so far are summarized.