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The invention of the barcode was a revolution in retail checkouts around the globe. Each barcode holds individual, concise information about its product and barcodes are reputedly used around five billion times each day.

The patent was filed in 1952 by Norman Woodland, who invented the barcode, and Bernard Silver under the title ‘Classifying Apparatus and Method’ but because the scanner required to read the barcode was so expensive, it went no further at that time.

Eventually, the patent for the barcode was sold to an American electronics firm for $15,000 (around £9,000) and this was all the money that Norman Woodland and Bernard Silver ever made from the invention of the barcode.

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