Do You Remember Life Before...

...the UPC bar code?
UPC bar codes
The Universal Product Code became a supermarket industry standard in 1973.

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There are 5 comments for this item.

Posted by chrisbroz at 10:10 pm (PDT) on Sat October 8, 2016   
UPC stand for Universal Product Code..NOT Pricing Code as I've heard many say - (not on this group/list howeveer)
Posted by LoyalTubist at 6:16 pm (PDT) on Sat October 8, 2016   
The first UPC was put on chewing gum in the early 1970s. The reason we were told they did this was tracking. It would be a few years before cashiers would begin scanning prices. 
Posted by CJ at 12:21 pm (PDT) on Mon July 25, 2016   
Gotta love the UPC's. While the cashier spends 5+ minutes trying to scan an item that cost $1.27 - in the old day you would enter 1  2  7 and pull the crank handle and on to next item. People were under the misconception that UPC scanning was for increased speed and efficiency. Nope - it was strictly for improving inventory tracking.
Posted by chrisbroz at 6:24 pm (PDT) on Sun July 24, 2016   
I moved to FL in Aug of '79...comin' up on 37 years ago...my first job (courtesy of my Army bud, who was an assistant manager) was working at Winn-Dixie first in the stock room, then as a cashier....in or around late 1980 the first computers and  laser UPC readers were installed - we were told it would be 'scan, scan bag' but it took a number of years before that happened...many local communities had ordinances that required individual marking of items after the 'old folks' (I'm one now) complained that they couldn't remember the price when they got to the register (HORSEC**P)...it was a long learning curve and the individual input of the UPC (for inventory purposes) took a while to actually be complied with.  I see the scan, scan, bag' routine today, but thirty years ago it was difficult...the computers used discs that looked like cake plates with covers and the girl who did the price changes hadda manually enter each new price when the sale ended/began on Thrusday morning...
Posted by LoyalTubist at 6:06 pm (PDT) on Sat July 23, 2016   
Until about 35 years ago merchandise was individually priced. Tin cans were usually marked with a number in a circle in blue ink. It was easily rubbed off for a price change. (No one ever thought of rubbing it off and lying about the price.) Cashiers had to put in each price manually (there was no scanning). When it was announced that they would quit putting prices on everything (relying then on UPC marks) consumers were outraged.

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