North Carolina People, Places, and Things-January 14
I am the dad to five adult children. As they were growing up I attempted to remind them they were special and to implore them to learn something new. My goal was to do that daily.
In 2016 my goal is to learn something new daily on the people, places, and things that make North Carolina special.
In 1969 a product was invented in North Carolina that is part of almost every item sold in the world today. The product is the Universal Product Code (UPC).
In 1969 IBM in Research Triangle Park just outside Raleigh NC assigned George Laurer to determine how to make a supermarket scanner and label. In late 1970, Heard Baumeister provided equations to calculate characters per inch achievable by two IBM bar codes, Delta A and Delta B. In February, 1971, Baumeister joined Laurer. By 1972 the scanner and UPC became a reality.
George Laurer started work at IBM in 1951 and was a 36-year veteran before he retired in June 1987. He also is the holder of 25 patents.
There is a great article in the NY Times on Laurer and his invention. The one part of his story that I loved was he didn’t follow instructions. He was told to invent a round UPC but he found out that didn’t work as good the linear one.
Read the article below