35 Years On: Universal Product Code lives up to name

Posted June 26, 2009

From its beginnings as a service to help supermarkets speed up the checkout process, the Universal Product Code, known as the bar code, celebrated its 35th birthday Wednesday June 3rd as a technology that has expanded to applications far and wide.

One of the world’s best-known symbols, the UPC comprises a row of 59 machine-readable black-and-white bars and 12 human-readable digits. Both the bars and the digits convey the same information: the identity of a specific product and its manufacturer.

First developed to help grocery clerks quickly total customers’ bills, the first live use of a bar code took place in a Marsh Supermarkets store in Troy, Ohio, on June 26, 1974, when a cashier scanned a pack of Wrigley’s gum, according to information from GS1 US, a Lawrenceville, N.J., nonprofit that says it is the developer and administrator of the UPC for more than 200,000 businesses in the U.S.

Continue reading: http://www.gazette.net/stories/06052009/businew174901_32533.shtml

Filed under: Barcode News