Norman Joseph Woodland (1921-2012), Inventor of the Barcode

Norman Joseph Woodland

Mechanical engineer Norman Joseph Woodland, the inventor of the barcode, has died at the age of 91. Woodland and co-inventor Bernard Silver developed the first barcode system in the 1940s, and received a patent for the invention in 1952. The “Classifying Apparatus and Method” used a circular code and required a costly and massive scanner. The system was a commercial failure, but it laid the groundwork for the rectangular barcode and the Universal Product Code, both developed and adopted in the 1970s.

Norman Joseph Woodland

via The New York Times

photo via IBM

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