another random user writes: Sunday the 7 October is the 60th anniversary of the barcode patent, filed in the US in 1952. However the distinctive black-and-white stripes did not make their first appearance in an American shop until 1974 — because the laser technology used to read them did not exist. Link to Original Source
I have yet to see any problem, however complicated, which, when
you looked at it in the right way, did not become still more complicated.
-- Poul Anderson