What is bar code? It is method of
automatic identification and data collection. The first patent for a bar
code type product (US Patent #2,612,994) was issued to inventors Joseph Woodland and
Bernard Silver on October 7, 1952. The Woodland and Silver bar code can be
described as a "bull's eye" symbol, made up of a series of concentric
Examine the 1958 patent drawing to the left that depicts the Woodland's
and Silver's bar
code label and the 1958 patent drawing below right of the inventors' bar code
technology. The photo below left is an example of today's U.P.C. bar code
on a product package.
In 1948, Bernard Silver was a graduate
student at Drexel Institute of Technology in Philadelphia. A local food
chain store owner had made an inquiry to the Drexel Institute asking about
research into a method of automatically reading product information
during checkout. Bernard Silver joined together with fellow graduate student
Norman Joseph Woodland to work on a solution.
Woodland's first idea was to use
ultraviolet light sensitive ink. The team built a working prototype but
decided that the system was too unstable and expensive. They went back
to the drawing board.
On October 20, 1949, Woodland and
Silver filed their patent application for the "Classifying Apparatus and Method",
describing their invention as "article classification...through the medium
of identifying patterns".
Bar code was first used commercially
in 1966, however, it was soon realized that there would have to be some sort
of industry standard set. By 1970, the Universal Grocery Products Identification
Code or UGPIC was written by a company called Logicon Inc. The first company
to produce bar code equipment for retail trade use (using UGPIC) was the
American company Monarch Marking in 1970, and for industrial use, the British
company Plessey Telecommunications was also first in 1970. UGPIC evolved into the
set or Universal Product Code, which is still used in the United States. George J.
Laurer is considered the inventor of U.P.C. or Uniform Product Code, which was invented
In June of 1974, the first U.P.C.
scanner was installed at a Marsh's supermarket in Troy, Ohio. The first
product to have a bar code included was a packet of Wrigley's
Beginning with 1932, when an ambitious project was
conducted by a small group of students headed by Wallace Flint at the Harvard
University Graduate School of Business Administration. The project proposed that
customers select desired merchandise from a catalog by removing corresponding
punched cards from the catalog.
of the U.P.C. Symbol History
About 1970, McKinsey & Co. (a consulting firm) in conjunction with
UGPCC (Uniform Grocery Product Code Council, a corporation formed by the grocery
industries leading trade associations) defined a numeric format for product
do I get a bar code for my product?
How to obtain a Universal Product Code Identification Number.
George J. Laurer invented U.P.C.
in 1973 - Patents
& Recognition For George Laurer
Code Council, Inc.
The UCC (formerly The Uniform Product
Code Council, Inc.) is responsible for issuing product numbers, specification,
A toy that entertains and reveals
things about your barcode.
information about bar codes.
Who created the first shopping mall
and other trivia.
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