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Co-inventor of bar code dies at 91

  • The co-inventor of the bar code, Norman Woodland has died at the age of 91, his daughter said on Friday.

    Woodland passed away on Saturday from complications related to Alzheimer's disease in Edgewater, New Jersey, said Susan Woodland.

    Today, five billion products a day are scanned using the bar code, or Universal Product Code (UPC), according to GS1 US, the American arm of the global UPC standards body.

    Susan Woodland said her father and co-inventor Bernard "Bob" Silver were graduate students at an engineering school in Philadelphia when they came up with the idea of the bar code.

    Woodland devised a code based on Morse code.

    The duo applied for the world's first bar code patent in 1949 and received the patent in 1952.

    Silver died in 1963.

    Woodland is survived by his wife, Jacqueline, daughters Susan and Betsy, brother David and granddaughter Ella.