Have you ever wondered where barcodes come from? Did you know that barcodes have a very interesting history? For those looking to buy barcodes or are just interested in learning more about barcode numbers I’ve included some “fun” facts about barcodes.
1. The first product to ever be scanned with a barcode number on it (it was a UPC barcode) was a packet of Wrigley’s chewing gum at Marsh’s store in Troy, Ohio, in June 1974. You can view the packet of gum at the Smithsonian museum.
2.The 13-digit EAN barcode system used around the world can produce ten thousand billion unique codes.
3. Barcodes can be found in the world of art, made famous by New York artist Bernard Solco. He was the first artist to use product barcodes as the subject matter of his various artworks, which included 20 two-meter high paintings based on the standard barcode image.
4. Barcode art has a fun program where you can create a barcode based on yourself. All you need to do is enter your gender, age, country of origin, height and weight and the website will output your own unique barcode based on your stats!
5. When barcode systems were first introduced to retailers, sunlight shining through windows at the front of stores prevented barcodes from being read. Fortunately barcoding technology has improved greatly since then.
Thank you to Orkestrasi Gulag for his blog post on barcode trivia.
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Our blog researchers include local barcode experts from the SA Barcodes team: Cat Robinson and Andreas van Wyk
SA Barcodes Team
The aim of this page is to educate you, our customer, with all the information you may require about the different facets of barcodes and how they work.