Bar Code Co-Inventor Woodland Dies

Posted by Karen Koenig | Posted: 12/13/2012 1:55PM


Norman Joseph WoodlandIBMN. Joseph Woodland EDGEWATER, NJ - The co-inventor of the bar code, Norman Joseph Woodland has died from complications and Alzheimer’s disease, the Associated Press reports. He was 91.

Woodland, along with fellow Drexel University student Bernard Silver, developed the technology which captures product information in a single scan. The two received a patent in 1952, US Patent 2,612,994.

Their research became the basis for IBM’s development of the standard universal product code (UPC) technology.

Widely used in consumer markets, the use of bar code in woodworking continues to grow as manufacturers implement the technology to track inventory, work in process and shipments.


About the Author

Karen M. Koenig

Karen M. Koenig has more than 25 years of experience in the woodworking industry, including visits to wood products manufacturing facilities throughout North America, Europe and Asia. As Editor-in-Chief of Woodworking Network magazine (formerly Wood & Wood Products), Karen’s primary responsibilities include spearheading the writing, editing and coordinating of the editorial content of the publication, along with the Red Book resource guide and the Red Book online source and supply directory ( She is also a frequent contributor to other Woodworking Network online and print media. She can be reached at or Google+.

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