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Scanning the Supermarket Barcode, from Punch Cards to Vanity Branding A History of the Supermarket Barcode

Thirty-seven years ago, the barcode entered the supermarket—and transformed the way we shop for food.

Thirty-seven years ago today, a strange new computer technology entered the supermarket. On June 26, 1974, a white male by the name of Clyde Dawson entered Marsh Supermarket in Troy, Ohio. He loaded up his cart with groceries and approached the checkout line. The cashier that day was Sharon Buchanan. At 8:01 a.m., she picked a 10-pack of Wrigley’s Juicy Fruit chewing gum out of his cart and scanned it.

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