Norman Joseph Woodland, co-inventor of bar code at Drexel, dies at 91

Tom Paine

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Norman Joseph Woodland, who co-invented the bar code while he was a graduate student at Drexel University, died on December 9 in Edgewater, NJ, at the age of 91, the New York Times reported today.

Woodland and Bernard Silver developed the bar code at Drexel in the late 1940's and received a patent on it in 1952. However, the now-ubiquitous technology was not implemented in the supermarket industry until 1974.

I wrote about Woodland and Silver on the 60th anniversary of the issuance of the patent two months ago.

Woodland ended up working up at IBM, where he had a role in commercializing the bar code, retiring in 1987. Silver died in 1963.

While the patent itself was sought after and was acquired by Philco and later sold to
RCA, my sense is that it wasn't terribly lucrative for the co-inventors.

permalink on Horsham-based EFE Labs; prospering after 50 years

Tom Paine

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In my article last week on Malvern-based Rajant Corporation, CEO Robert Schena told me how Rajant outsources the manufacture of the hardware units for its communication nodes to contract manufacturer EFE Laboratories in Horsham. I didn't know much about EFE, but in yesterday's Crissa Shoemaker DeBree wrote an excellent article about the 50 year old company, that has adapted to change and prospered even as technology has changed dramatically over its history.

Rajant BreadCrumb® LX4

Under the leadership of President Kip Anthony, EFE has tripled its headcount over the past decade to about 36, DeBree reports, and was ranked #38 on this year's Philadelphia 100 list of the region’s fastest growing businesses. The article also points out that EFE serves as a resource for the area and frequently helps smaller firms build prototypes or get assembly lines off the ground.


Daily Links 12/13/2012: Roberts on what Comcast has learned from Apple

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Comcast CEO: What we learned from Apple (Fortune)

ShopRunner’s CIO: The Cloud Won’t Run Itself (BizTech Magazine)

HP Former CEO Says Board Shares Blame for Autonomy Deal (Bloomberg)

Michael Dell: Our Transformation Is Complete (InformationWeek)

Sprint Offers to Buy Rest of Clearwire

Comcast’s rollout of Streampix nearly complete (CED Magazine)

The Xfinity App Lets You Download Shows Now (Gizmodo)

Oracle Acquires DataRaker to Expand in Smart Meters, Sensors (Bloomberg)

Manufacturing solutions (
EFE Laboratories still growing after more than 50 years.

Connectify Dispatch Combines Ethernet, Wi-Fi, and 4G to Turbocharge Internet Speed
(PR Newswire)

Philadelphia Startup SnipSnap Gets More Social With Its Updated Coupon Clipping iOS App (TechCrunch)