We are all very excited here at AC Labels today, we have a special birthday to celebrate …………….. the 60th birthday of the barcode!!!
The barcode is a way of conveying data with just a simple series of lines, but has proven itself to be so versatile over so many years.
The history bit….
The barcode was the brain child of graduate student Bernard Silver and his friend, Norman Joseph Woodland.
The pair had overheard the president of the local food chain, FoodFair, asking one of the deans at Drexel Institute of Technology to research a system to automatically read product information during checkout.
Silver and Woodland developed an initial system based around ultra violet ink but the ink soon faded and was too expensive. Convinced of the systems potential, Woodland left Drexel and moved to Florida where he continued to work on the barcode development. Using morse code as his inspiration he formed his first code from sand on the beach “I just extended the dots and dashes downwards and made narrow lines and wide lines out of them.”
To read them, he adapted technology from optical soundtracks in movies, using a 500-watt light bulb shining through the paper onto a photomultiplier tube on the far side.
He later decided that the system would work better if it were printed as a circle instead of a line, allowing it to be scanned in any direction. This code was known as the bullseye code.
On 20 October 1949 Woodland and Silver filed a patent application for “Classifying Apparatus and Method”, in which they described both the linear and bullseye printing patterns, as well as the mechanical and electronic systems needed to read the code. The patent was issued on 7 October 1952 and the barcode was born!
Now today, thanks to Bernard Silver and Norman Joseph Woodland, AC labels have a successful business printing hundreds of millions of different verified barcodes every year for industry sectors like NHS, Retail, Warehousing, Distribution, Records management, Document storage, Couriers, Logistics, Facilities management and many many others.
And to celebrate this special birthday we have decided to attempt a world record for the largest linear barcode label ever manufactured in one continuous image with no stitching. Pictured above is a 40m long Code 128 Barcode with data that reads “HAPPY 60TH BIRTHDAY BARCODE!”
We will let you know if we get the record!