Point of Sales Terminal

By the early 1970s improvements in lasers made possible new equipment for tracking merchandise. RCA developed an “automatic checkout stand” that was tried for several months in 1972 at a supermarket near Cincinnati, Ohio. By 1974, a committee of executives had developed a Universal Product Code. Products coded with these bar codes were first sold at Marsh’s supermarket in Troy, Ohio, in June of that year. IBM, NCR and other manufacturers soon sold point-of-sale terminals combined with checkout scanners. These fed information about purchases into computer systems. They became common in grocery and department stores across the country, making it possible to keep closer tabs on stock while reducing the number, training time, and pay of clerks