Barcode is an automatic method of identification and data collection. The barcodes came into origin in 1948. A graduate student from Drexel Insitute of Technology in Philadelphia, USA, by name Bernard Silver had to do a project. The student overheard the president of Food Fair, a food chain, about asking them to conduct a research. The research was aimed to identify a system that automatically reads a product information during checkout. Along with his friend Joseph Woodland, they worked by using an ultraviolet light sensitive ink. However, it was expensive and unstable.

Later they formed the first barcode from sand on the beach. Then they found the system that worked better when printed as a circle instead of a line that allowed to scan in any direction.

They filed a patent “Classifying Apparatus and Method” on October 20, 1949. They described it in the invention as article classification through the medium of identifying patterns. Commercially, barcode was first used in 1966. Then it was realized that there should be some sort of industry standard set for barcodes. The Universal Grocery Products Identification Code or UGIPC was written in 1970 by Logicon Inc.

The American company, Monarch Marking was the first company in 1970 that produced the barcode equipment for retail trade use. For industrial use the barcode was first produced by the British company Plessey Telecommunications. Universal Product Code or U.P.C. symbol set is derived from the UGIPC in 1973. The first U.P.C. scanner was installed in 1974 at Marsh’s supermarket at Ohio.

With many advances in technology different barcodes have been used. The complexity and effectiveness of barcode scanners, printers, and other equipment got improved. Many companies are involved in providing the barcode equipment. Some of the most prominent equipment which are used today are Symbol scanners, Zebra printers, Eltron printers, and Liberty scanners.

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