Asset Barcode Tags
World’s Best Asset Tags

To protect your organization's assets, you want a durable tag that won't chip, become illegible or fall off after a few months. A good asset tag makes your inventory and auditing system painless - and keeps your things where they belong.

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A Short History of Barcodes

The bar code was first conceptualized in the 1940s, when Drexel professor Norman Joseph Woodland and his student Bernard Silver caught wind of a business opportunity – a supermarket mogul was looking for a way to automatically process product and purchase information. Woodland and Silver spent several years on the technical challenge, with several false starts, including ultraviolet inks that didn’t work. Originally, bar codes weren’t bars at all but bulls-eye shaped (for a time, Woodland and Silver thought this was the best way to ensure that bar codes could be read from any angle). Gradually, Woodland started to use morse code to encode characters by extending the shapes of the code downward to form a precursor to the familiar patterns we see today. In 1952, the duo finally patented a system for classifying objects using patterns of straight lines.

In the late 1960s, as supermarkets began to make widespread use of the technology, it became clear that in order to ensure a steady supply of hardware for reading and processing data, retailers were going to have to standardize the coding systems. The UPC (or Universal Product Code) system was adopted throughout the US in 1973, and is still used today.

Ironically, Woodland was awarded his National Medal of Technology in 1992 by George H. W. Bush – a US president unfairly associated with an unfortunate incident involving a barcode scanner.
Bar Code
Woodland and Silver’s original bar code patent
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