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40th Anniversary Of First GS1 Barcode

By square1
40th Anniversary Of First GS1 Barcode

Today marks the 40th anniversary of the scanning of the very first GS1 barcode.

Forty years ago, on June 26, 1974, Sharon Buchanan was the first cashier to scan a GS1 barcode at a Marsh Supermarket in Troy, Ohio (USA) and Clyde Dawson, director of research and development for Marsh became the first person to purchase a product with a price labeled on the package.

That item was a 10-pack of Wrigley's Juicy Fruit gum. It cost 67 cents and its place in history has been preserved at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C. where it is on display for all to see.

“Imagine if there was no barcode,” said Miguel Lopera, president and CEO of GS1, the organisation that oversees most of the barcodes used in the world today. “Can you imagine the lines at the checkouts? How frustrated consumers would be? Just imagine what it would be like one day at a supermarket, if one day the scanner didn’t work and checkout clerks had to manually punch in the barcode on every item.

“From a business perspective, imagine how the barcode enables a little manufacturer in India to sell his product any place in the world because the label can be read in any country in any language.”


GS1 is a neutral, not-for-profit, global organisation that develops and maintains the most widely used supply chain standards system in the world. Barcodes remain the most well known and universally recognized part of the GS1 System of Standards, the most widely used supply chain standards system in the world.

© 2014 - Checkout Magazine by Conor William O’Brien

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