Sunday, December 4, 2016

History of barcode

Barcode is an optical marker printed on paper or other object. By changing a series of special patterns’ color, shape, thickness and spacing, barcode can encode an ID number or other information associated with its hosting object. The Westinghouse Corporation introduced the original concept of the barcode as early as 1929. The original intention was to use them to sort electricity bills. However, the system was not fully developed.

In 1932, Walter Flint, a Harvard business student, wrote his master’s thesis on the use of punch cards for inventory management in grocery stores. Punched cards placed in a catalog were used to pull items from a stock room and transfer them to a checkout meter. At the same time an invoice was produced and inventory was changed to reflect the sale.

Wrigley’s Extra White Bottles Sugarfree Gum
The concept of barcodes was first developed by two Drexel University students, Bernard Silver and Norman Woodland in 1948. A United States patent was issued in 1952.

Their idea originated from a conversation Silver overheard concerning a firm’s inability to track inventory. It was a ‘bull’s eye’ symbol that consisted of a series of concentric circles. The first commercial use of barcodes was by the RCA/Kroger system installed in Cincinnati on the behest of the National Association of Food Chains.

The Universal Price Code sometimes called a ‘barcode’ was introduced in 1973 to speed up and eliminate human cashier errors in US supermarkets. It was not until 1974 that the first fully effective grocery store barcode scanner was introduced. On 26 June 1974 a 10-packet of Wrigley’s Juicy Fruit chewing gum with a barcode was scanned in the March Supermarket, Troy, Ohio.

True acceptance of barcodes for industrial applications began in 1981 when the US Department of Defense mandated barcodes, specifically the Code 39 symbology, for DOD material.
History of barcode

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