George Laurer, the creator of the Uniform Product Code (UPC), found on millions of items worldwide, and scanned billions of times per day, passed away Friday December 5th, 2019. He was 94.
"George Laurer was a consultant for IBM before he established the 12-digit bar code that is now used on products in stores. In 1971 the company's management asked Laurer if he could design an optical code that would be innovative for the grocery industry that would remain in use and eventually be adopted by other merchandise producing companies. Laurer also created a symbol to accompany the bar code and after three submitted proposals, the UPC bar code was born. Laurer also played a substantial role in the development of scanning equipment that would read each UPC symbol every time an item was purchased at the checkout counter. In the UPC bar code, The first 6 numbers starts with a 0 followed by the manufacturer's number, which is 5 numbers. The last 6 numbers identify the item the bar code is affixed to. The first product that bore Laurer's bar code was a pack of Wrigley's chewing gum sold at a Marsh supermarket in Troy, Ohio." (from the History Of The Bar Code).