The Bar Code Invented – 1952
The first patent for a bar code product was issued to Joseph Woodland and Bernard Silver on this day in 1952. Actually, their identification idea wasn't in a bar shape, but was instead a bull's eye symbol made up of concentric circles.
Today's bar codes look more like this:
Bar codes contain information such as item name and price, and they are used to quickly indicate prices at the register and to keep track of inventory, telling, for example, how many of each item is still on the shelves. Some systems are able to encode several thousand bytes of information.