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1949 Circular Barcode Patent 

In 1949 Joe Woodland and Bernard Silver filed for a patent on a "Classifying Apparatus & Method" which was a barcode but expressed as concentric circles.  It was granted as Patent 2612994  in 1952.  Joe Woodland tells a story of coming up with the concept while running his fingers through sand on the beach.
Woodland Silver Circular Barcode  Patent imageWoodland - Silver Circular Barcode Patent Documents

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