It’s likely we’ve all seen them on just about every item we’ve ever purchased in our lifetimes. They’ve been around in mass use since the 1970′s. No matter what it is, from a small pack of gum to a luxury car, these small things that most of us most likely overlook are attached to almost everything we buy. I’m talking, of course, about barcodes.

Today’s infographic from shows us the history of the barcode, from its beginnings in the late 1940′s to the tags we scan with our smartphones today. We average people aren’t the only ones who use these barcodes daily, either. The U.S. military uses barcodes to help mark their inventoried ships, sometimes with codes 2 feet wide. Researchers also use very small barcodes to track the movement of certain insects.

For more history on barcodes and their uses refer to the infographic below. [Via]

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Source: Daily Infographic