Inventor Joe Woodland drew the first bar code in sand in Miami Beach, but it would take decades before technology could bring his vision to life.
The idea was to create a code of some sort that could be printed on groceries and scanned, so that supermarket checkout queues would move more quickly. This request actually came from a distraught manager.
The night before the idea became a reality, a team of Marsh staff started putting bar codes on hundreds of items of a store while National Cash Register installed scanners and computers. The first product to be scanned was a pack of Wrigley’s Juicy Fruit chewing gum, chosen because nobody was that sure that a bar code could be printed on something as small as that.