5 cool barcode related facts

April 27, 2017


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.


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.


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!



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!


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 form 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!




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