The History of the Barcode

Google's doodle for today is a barcode, in honor of the 57th anniversary of its invention. Nick Collins writes in The Daily Telegraph about the history of this label:

Granted to American inventors Norman Joseph Woodland and Bernard Silver three years after it was filed, patent number 2,612,994 was for a pattern of concentric circles, rather than the set of straight lines used today.

Their research began in 1948 after Mr Silver, a graduate student at the Drexel Institute of Technology in Philadelphia, overheard a local food chain boss asking one of the institute's deans to design a system for reading product data automatically.

Mr Silver and Mr Woodland, a fellow graduate student and teacher at Drexel, first tried using patterns of ink that glowed under ultraviolet light, but it proved too expensive and unreliable.

Mr Woodland then came up with the linear bar code, and later replaced the lines with circles so that they could be scanned from any angle. The pair patented their “bull’s eye” design the next year.

The barcode became widely used in UPC (universal price product code) format, and the first UPC-labeled item scanned by a reader was a packet of Wrigley's chewing gum at a grocery store in Troy, Ohio in 1974.

You can create your own personalized barcode with a tool in the links below.

Barcode Generator via Urlesque | History of the Barcode

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Excellent, ByrdBrain, but you should have worked the fat in a little earlier, and how the rest of the world hates the US becuase of it.
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This guy helped photograph our wedding! He's a sweetheart who is very into barcodes.
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