“In 1951, after abandoning a planned career as a television repairman, Mr. Laurer joined IBM, where he was asked to design a code for food labels modeled on the Woodland-Silver bull’s-eye and compatible with a new generation of optical scanners. But he found that the circular symbol was too blurry when reproduced on high-speed printing presses and instead developed a rectangular design, with 95 bits of data in binary code containing consumer product information.” NYT: George Laurer, Who Developed the Bar Code, Is Dead at 94.

+ Beep Beep: The History of George Laurer and the Barcode. “A 67 cent packet of gum has ballooned into an enormous industry, and five billion barcodes are scanned each and every day.”