The UPC Bar Code turns 35

July 1, 2009

The first use of a UPC bar code took place on June 26, 1974 in a Marsh Supermarket store in Troy, OH when a cashier scanned a package of Wrigley’s gun. With this scan began a period of economic and productivity gains for retailers and manufacturers alike.

Over the years the UPC code has been adopted by other industries looking to take advantage of its benefits. Today UPC codes are scanned more than 10 billion times each day with estimated annual cost savings of $17 billion in the grocery market alone.

Certainly this technology can be considered one of the most productive inventions in history.


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