The Birth of Barcodes
Updated October 6, 2023
Before the beginning of barcodes, shopping was a long, drawn out affair, with long queues and inaccurate prices. Sales assistants had to manually ring up each item on their sales system and this led to time being wasted and mistakes being made. It is very easy to ring up the wrong item. This human error meant that retailers lost a lot of time and money.
In the beginning, there was a man on a beach with an idea in his head. This is where barcodes started. Not with a bang, but with an idea brewing in a mind. Since then, barcodes have spread throughout the world and have revolutionised the way we do things in business as well as in our everyday lives. These days, barcodes are so fully a part of our lives that we take them for granted, we do not realise what our lives would be without them.
Bar codes South Africa have also revolutionized stock control in retailers. Before the invention of barcodes, and the opportunity to buy barcodes for your products stores would have to close in order to do stock stake. This would waste even more time and money. Especially in the early days of a business, it is crucial to keep your expenses as low as possible and to save as much money as possible.
Another way that barcodes have revolutionised retailers is by ensuring that retailers are always in complete control of their stock levels. This helps them to know when to reorder stock so that they have exactly what the clients wants. This boosts client loyalty, thereby increasing the sales and ensuring that the business is a success.
So where did barcodes begin? The concept of barcodes was birthed in the mind of a man called Joe Woodland. He sat on a beach in Miami in 1949 and traced his idea into the sand. His main aim was to develop a code that can be attached to each sales item. Scanning this code will bring up the item on the sales system. The development of these codes would make the sales process simpler and more efficient.
After this, Joe Woodland went into partnership with Bob Silver and continued to develop the technology to support the creation of barcodes. The initial barcode scanner was created by Silver and Woodland in 1952 and this was also the year that they applied for the patent for the barcode design and received it.
So, when was the first barcode scanned in reality? This happened at a Marsh Supermarket in Troy, Ohio on 26 June 1974. The first product to be barcoded was a pack of Wrigley’s fruit chewing gum. It was bought by Clyde Dawson who held the senior position in development and research at Marsh Supermarket. This first barcode was scanned by a sales assistant called Sharon Buchanan. History was made as barcodes were birthed into the modern world.
The popularity of bar codes grew in leaps and bounds. Over the years, more and more retailers worldwide adopted barcodes for their businesses. Barcode technology has also advanced, making different kinds of barcodes possible. This means that in these modern days, we are finding new and creative ways of using barcodes to make our lives easier. 33% of stores in USA were using a barcode system in their business by 1984. By 2004, this percentage had grown to 80 to 90%.
Buy Barcodes South Africa has been proud to continue this rich history by providing the highest quality barcodes to businesses throughout the world. We are excited about what the future holds for barcode technology. If you have any questions about how you can join the revolution of barcodes, please do not hesitate to contact us.