Barcoding Logo

Our Approach

A Barcoding solution is never just a piece of hardware: This is the heart of Barcoding’s Process, People, Technology (PPT) philosophy.

First, we work to understand our clients’ businesses—their workflows, people, cultures, and goals—and then we discuss the types of technology available to fit their needs.

Our Partner Network

Barcoding, Inc. is a premier partner with the best manufacturers and software providers in the automated data capture, mobility, and supply chain spaces. Because of our strong relationships, our clients have access to high-level resources at our partners’ organizations—from the executive teams to sales, engineers, and support.


3840 Bank Street
Baltimore, MD 21224

Barcoding Logo


Sub Bot Post

From Gum to Global: The Origin Story of the Barcode

Jun 26, 2024
TOPIC: Technology
2 min read
Facebook LinkedIn Twitter Email

Sunday, June 26th. Whoever bought a pack of chewing gum at the Marsh Supermarket in Troy, Ohio on this date 50 years ago was making history. It was the first purchase of an item to be scanned into a cash register by using the Universal Product Code—much better known as the bar code.

Juicy Fruit 10 Pak Imagery -1974Realizing the significance of the event, the buyer returned the item. The 10-pack of Wrigley's Juicy Fruit is now on display at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C., along with one of the early scanners. The price-scanning concept dates from the early 1950s, employing a bull's-eye type mark. But it proved cost-prohibitive. Today, the bar code is part of everyday life for the $4.2 trillion worth of annual transactions in America's nearly 1.1 million retail trade establishments, and the 14.7 million people who work in them.

Sharon Buchanan, a cashier at the Marsh supermarket in Troy, Ohio, scanned the world’s first Universal Product Code (better known as a barcode) on a 10-pack of Wrigley's Juicy Fruit gum. Bernard Silver and Norman Joseph Woodland had patented a bullseye-shaped machine-readable code in 1949, but the UPC that was adopted by the Ad Hoc Committee of the Universal Product Identification Code was developed by a team of IBM engineers under George Laurer.

Marsh Grocery Imagery

The standard rectangular design measures approximately 1.5” x 0.9” and comprises black bars and white spaces representing a sequence of numbers unique to the item it is printed on. The code was to be read by a scanner using a laser beam as a light source. The black bars would absorb light, while the white space reflected it back to the scanner. The intensity of the reflected light would then be read, and the unique pattern would be deciphered by a computer that would provide pricing information and adjust the stock database to reflect the sale.

Such equipment was costly, however, and this meant that retailers did not widely use the UPC until the 1980s. The checkout equipment used for the first reading of a UPC was built and installed by National Cash Register, a company that was based in Ohio. The selection of a packet of Wrigley’s gum by the first customer, Clyde Dawson from the research and development department of Marsh Supermarket, was not a coincidence. Despite having many other items in his basket he picked the chewing gum to demonstrate that it was possible to print a barcode on small items. One of the Juicy Fruit packets from the supermarket is now held by the Smithsonian Museum.

Happy National Barcode Day!

New call-to-action