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The Barcode: Through Thick And Thin For 60 Years

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The Barcode: Through Thick And Thin For 60 Years

The Barcode: Through Thick And Thin For 60 Years

The Barcode: Through Thick And Thin For 60 Years

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/162467347/162467352" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Today marks an important anniversary. On Oct. 7, 1952, the patent for the barcode was filed. For younger listeners, it may be hard to imagine that there was actually a time when everything you bought wasn't scan-able.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Today marks an important anniversary. On October 7, 1952, 60 years ago, the patent for the bar code was filed. For younger listeners, it's perhaps hard to imagine that there was actually a time when everything you bought wasn't scanable. Today, of course, those vertical zebra stripes are ubiquitous, on everything - from air fresheners to zombie survival kits.

According to the BBC, the very first item ever scanned by its barcode was a pack of chewing gum in an Ohio supermarket in 1974.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

MARTIN: And you're listening to NPR News.

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