Barcode celebrates 60th patent anniversary

  • Today marks the 60th anniversary of the barcode patent, filed in the U.S. in 1952.

    However, the black-and-white stripes only made their first appearance in an American shop in 1974 as the laser technology used to read them did not exist previously.

    The first item to be scanned by a barcode was a packet of chewing gum in an Ohio supermarket that year.

    There are now more than five million individual barcodes in use around the world.