The barcode is a ubiquitous part of everyday life. According to GS1 the ‘beep’ of a barcode being scanned at a checkout occurs over 6 billion times every day!
Surprisingly, the barcode was invented way back in 1952 by Morman Woodland and Bernard Silver. Their invention was based on Morse code that was extrapolated to thick and thin bars. However, it took another twenty years for the barcode to find a commercial use.
The first ever use of a barcode in retail, which occurred in 1974, was when Marsh supermarket in Troy, Ohio used a scanner to scan the UPC barcode on a pack of Wrigley’s chewing gum. It wasn’t long before barcodes became the standard in automated supermarket checkout systems, and the rest, as they say, is history. Today UPC barcodes are pre printed on almost all items other than fresh produce.