5 cool barcode related facts


5 cool barcode related facts

We’ve been taking a look at the history of the barcode, and have put together some of our favorite fun facts:

1. The initial idea didn’t come until 1949

University friends Bernard silver and Norman Woodland ‘coined’ the barcode in 1949. They were both students from pensylvania, United states. It wasn’t until over 20 years later, 1974, that barcodes were used in retail stores.


2. Chewing gum was the first supermarket product to use a barcode

Chewing gum was the first supermarket product to use a barcode

The first use of a barcode as a UPC (Universal product code) was at an Ohio Supermarket in 1974. The product? A ten-piece packet of Wrigleys chewing gum.


3. They used to serve very different purposes

The first commercial use of the barcode was in 1959, and it was used to label and sort rail cars. At the time, the barcode system we see today was known as ‘kartrak’, because of its very specific use!

coloured barcodes


4. It wasn’t always black and white! 

The colour of barcodes; it’s fairly black and white nowadays. That wasn’t so back in 1959. As pictured above, although stripes were still read by and scanner, they were blue and Red!


5. The worlds largest QR code is…

At the time of writing, the largest useable QR code in the world was developed by the Kraay family from Canada. At approximately 1.1 square miles, they had to hire a helicopter to fly above the farm where it was made in order to prove it scannable!

largest QR code


If you need plain, printed, barcode labels, Tanto labels are known for high-quality labels, outstanding value, and lightning fast delivery times. Request a free quote or call us for advice on: 01934 417665

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