We report observation of electron emission from individual carbon nanotubes. Two classes of emitters are observed, one emitting electrons with momentum nearly parallel to the nanotube axis, the other emitting electrons with nonzero momentum perpendicular to the tube axis. The emission pattern reflects the electronic structure of a particular tube and allows us to distinguish between structurally different nanotubes. These nanotube emitters exhibit excellent macroscopic emission properties; they can operate at a very large current density, as high as 4 A/cm2. At electric fields as low as 4-7 V/μm, they emit technologically useful current densities, e.g. 10 mA/cm2. The emission characteristics and durability of the carbon nanotube cold cathodes offer promising applications for vacuum microelectronic devices.