A talk about creation of the barcode in the early seventies.


Derrick Brown


9:30am - Event starts
12:00pm - Event ends


Derrick will describe the problem that faced Sainsburys in the early seventies when a system was needed to re-stock supermarkets but the technology to fix it didn’t exist. A basic barcode and reader was found in a small development laboratory then developed and designed to meet the system requirements specified by Derrick. The human interface, testing and implementation of the “Just-in-time” system will be described. As a world-first barcode implementation, it paved the way for innumerable offspring and a version of the original application remains in place after fifty years.

About the speaker

Derrick Brown

A qualified mechanical engineer with a diploma in management studies, Derrick Brown moved into IT in the late 1960s. Working at Sainsburys he led a team developing a revolutionary order collection system which involved the world’s first use of barcode labels. He then moved into IT training, first in the UK and in Australia and is now retired. His autobiography An Unexpected Development was published in 2018.

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This event is brought to you by: Computer Conservation Society

Webinar: Birth of the Barcode - Computer Conservation Society
Date and time
Thursday 19 January, 9:30am - 12:00pm

This event is sold out