Barcode Birthday: The Barcode Turns 44 Today!

June 26 marks the 44th birthday of the barcode! As we celebrate our 20th year at Barcoding, Inc., we can’t help but get nostalgic on this special day. After all, without the barcode, there would be no Barcoding! While the barcode was in development for years before, today is the official day that marks the first official scanning of a UPC barcode. Let’s take a quick glance at how the barcode came to be.
1948
After overhearing a conversation with the president of a major food company, Bernard Silver teams up with Drexel classmate Norman Woodland to research how to automatically collect product information at the supermarket checkout.

1949
Silver and Woodland file a patent describing the linear and bull’s-eye barcode systems.

1952
The patent for the barcode system is granted and Silver and Woodland build the first barcode reader.

June 26, 1974
The first official barcode was scanned at a supermarket in Troy, Ohio on a 10-pack of Wrigley’s chewing gum.

View the full history of the barcode here.

Today, billons of barcodes are scanned every day around the world and are a critical part of how we live, work, and play. See the cost of a failed barcode from our friends at NiceLabel.

How will you celebrate the birth of the barcode today? Tag us in your posts on Facebook, twitter, or Instagram with #BarcodeBirthday.