Early U.P.C. Standards Documentation
- This May
1973 Original U.P.C. Symbol Specification, a gift from George
the creator of the U.P.C. proposal made by IBM, still contains notes
written by George and possibly some associates from the early
1970's. This was the initial widely available documentation about
the U.P.C.. One obtained a 5 digit vendor code from Distribution
Number Bank for a fee based on the amount of sales the organization
had. With that purchase a much more detailed notebook on the
standard was provided.
- The May
1973 Symbol Location Guide, a gift from George Laurer, the creator of the
U.P.C. proposal made by IBM, was released at the
Proposals to the Symbol
Selection Committee - Circa 1972, 1973
Initially IBM had intended to support the concentric circle symbol used
by RCA in their store test
at a Montgomery Pike Kroger store in Cincinnati. But upon further
reflection and engineering IBM decided to propose a barcode which could
be made to operate omni-directionally through the scanner. Their
proposals eventually became the basis for the U.P.C. Symbol although it
was modified slightly by the Symbol Selection Committee.
- IBM made its first proposal in 1972 and revised it
three times before the Symbol selection was made. This copy of
the Original U.P.C. Proposal, a gift from George Laurer, the creator of
the U.P.C. proposal made by IBM, still contain George's original update
leading to Revision 1.
First Proposal Revision 1
made in October 1972 added descriptions
of how handle multiple number series to incorporate National Drug Code
identifications and other related codes similar to Grocery.
IBM also defined a "truncated" code which was half the size of the
standard code to accommodate smaller packaging. Evidently there were
questions related to packaging forms that needed addressing and IBM
responded with Appendices A through C available here
- RCA (Univac)
Initially RCA held the most prominent place in proposing a U.P.C.
symbol. Upon demonstrating a concentric circle, or bullseye, symbol
technology in a well publicized store test where the scanning system
was the full checkout for many months, RCA proposed a version of the
concentric circle symbol to the Symbol Selection Committee.
Univac acquired the Computer Divisions of RCA including the Checkout
development group before checkout system products became generally
available, so the product was marketed under the Univac name.
The number of documents here will be expanded over time.