George Joseph Laurer

Managing Real Estate Broker with Fathom Realty PB00068179

George Joseph Laurer III was born in Manhattan, New York back in1925.  As a teenager he contracted polio which he recovered from. While he was in the 11th grade he was drafted into the U.S. Army during World War II.  After his discharge he graduated from the A. James Clark School of Engineering at the University of Maryland in 1951.

In 1951, he began working for IBM as a junior engineer.  By 1969, he had been promoted for senior engineer/scientist moving to the company’s officer in Research Triangle Park in North Carolina.  He held 25 patents and authored 27 published Technical Disclosure Bulletins.  In 1976 he was given the Raleigh Inventor of the Year Award.  He stayed with IBM for 36 years, he died in 2019, he was 94.

What you may not know about George is that he developed the Universal Product Code (UPC) in the early 1070’s.  As of 2019, UPC barcodes were being scanned more than 6 billion times each day.

NW Arkansas, come for a visit, stay for a lifetime.

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NW Arkansas the home of WalMart, JB Hunt Trucking and Tyson Foods.


Come for a visit stay for a lifetime.  



Comments (15)

Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Hi James - wish we had them when I was in retail in the 1970's.  We had to hand mark everything.

Apr 19, 2021 03:28 AM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

Something I'd never given any thought to, James... the history of UPC codes. And I love the North Carolina connection. Triangle Research Park is still important in our state.

Apr 19, 2021 04:13 AM
Raymond E. Camp
Howard Hanna Real Estate Services - Ontario, NY
Licensed Real Estate Salesperson Greater Rochester

Good morning James,

And now to get out of most stores we have become the cashier!

Make yourself an astonishing day.

Apr 19, 2021 04:44 AM
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Good morning James. Bet George did not have "self serve" checkout from stores in mind. Enjoy your day.

Apr 19, 2021 05:01 AM
Bob "RealMan" Timm
Ward County Notary Services - Minot, ND
Owner of Ward Co. Notary Services, retired Realtor

The UPC code was genious for sure. I used to follow IBM closely as they were the tech giant of their day. They sure dropped the ball on the PC and that is when I quit following them.

Apr 19, 2021 05:06 AM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hello James - I remember the days before UPC became ubiquituous.   Maybe that word would work better than uniform when definining/describing the code today.   In some ways things that are ubuquituous are quite uniform.  

Apr 19, 2021 05:22 AM
Brian England
Vacasa - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

Well, now we know where UPC bar codes came from but I doubt I will remember the name should I be asked where UPC bar codes came from, haha.

Apr 19, 2021 05:40 AM
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy


This was a wonderful invention for all of retail.  What a great Monday story this is.  A

Apr 19, 2021 07:08 AM
Rocky Dickerson
Realty One Group - Las Vegas, NV
Superior Service!

Good morning James! I still remember the old fashioned labels they would put for price tags on everything

Apr 19, 2021 07:17 AM
Jeffrey DiMuria 321.223.6253 Waves Realty
Waves Realty - Melbourne, FL
Florida Space Coast Homes

obviously a great thinker who lived a very long and productive life.

Apr 19, 2021 07:17 AM
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Realty - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

Hi James, 

This is a little-known fact that is pretty remarkable.  

Apr 19, 2021 08:39 AM
Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, CRS
Fathom Realty Washington LLC - Tacoma, WA
South Puget Sound Washington Agent/Broker!

I had no idea who created the barcode or the barcode system but I knew it had something to do with IBM. Thank you for the introduction James... 🙂

Apr 19, 2021 09:41 AM
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, EXP - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

Hi James,  Thanks for sharing information about the person behind the UPC bar codes, which have become a staple in today's market.

Apr 19, 2021 08:50 PM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

That's a pretty impressive invention, among his other accomplishments. Where would we be today without UPC codes?!

Apr 19, 2021 10:20 PM
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

Thank you very much, James, for sharing this story.

I hope you are having a productive week.

Apr 22, 2021 04:16 AM