How Barcodes Changed Inventory Tracking Technology

In this day and age of 24-hour online business and 365-day-a-year brick-and-mortar establishments, it’s hard to imagine a time when businesses closed for regular days off, holidays, and to do invent

A Bad First DepressionThe first attempt at creating something analogous as barcodes to do inventory dates back to the early 1930s, during the Great Depression. Harvard University business student Wallace Flint wrote his thesis surmising that punch cards were the answer, and he was on to something. Unfortunately, though, the machines needed to read these punch cards were very expensive and bulky, and hence, not viable for small businesses. Consequently, the idea sunk.The Sound of MusicIt was after the end of World War II that barcodes finally made their breakthrough, thanks to a graduate-student teacher and fellow student at the Drexel Institute of Technology. In 1948, Normand Joseph Woodland and Bernard Silver began working on a new system based on two previously created technologies: Morse code and that used in movie soundtracks. After proving the system worked, they could not get funding for the project, and it went into hibernation for some time.Train ManFinally, in the 1960s, MIT graduate student David J. Collins figured out a system of inventory for freight trains in the United States, combining Woodland and Silver’s advances with recently discovered laser-beam technology. The match was a success, and the era of modern barcodes had arrived.

Today, barcodes are used on every kind of merchant account, from older systems to newer technologies like those featured by Merchant Account Solutions, which even offers a free credit card machine with some plans.

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