Bar code's co-inventor N. Joseph Woodland dies at 91
RALEIGH, North Carolina (AP) - Mr Norman Joseph Woodland, the co-inventor of the bar code that labels nearly every product in stores and has boosted productivity in nearly every sector of commerce worldwide, has died. He was 91.
Mr Woodland died on Sunday in Edgewater, New Jersey, from the effects of Alzheimer's disease and complications of his advanced age, his daughter, Susan Woodland of New York, said on Thursday.
Mr Woodland and Mr Bernard Silver were students at what is now called Drexel University in Philadelphia when Mr Silver overheard a grocery-store executive asking an engineering school dean to channel students into research on how product information could be captured at checkout, Ms Susan Woodland said.
Mr Woodland notably had worked on the Manhattan Project, the US military's atomic bomb development team. And having already earned a mechanical engineering degree, Mr Woodland dropped out of graduate school to work on the bar code idea. He stole away to spend time with his grandfather in Miami to focus on developing a code that could symbolically capture details about an item, said Ms Woodland.