Truthfully, you'd probably be shocked to learn just how many of the things you use every single day were actually invented in NJ.

Sure, you know about the phonograph (Thomas Edison) and the first steam locomotive, but can you think of the one thing invented right here in South Jersey that changed the way we shop forever?

Cat Country 107.3 logo
Get our free mobile app

You can thank a man named N. Joseph Woodland for turning shopping into what it is today. So, what exactly did he invent? Woodland invented the ever-so-important barcode scanning system that retail uses to organize products. Imagine the chaos before barcodes existed.

According to, Woodland invented what he referred to as a "classifying apparatus." Of course, this method of keeping track of various goods and items would completely revolutionize the retail industry, thereby making it easier for workers to sort, track, and store their merchandise.

A fun fact about the first barcodes, though, is that they weren't a bunch of lines grouped horizontally like they are today. Back in 1952 when Woodland first created the system, they were actually a group of circles that could store encrypted information used for tracking, storing, stocking, and inventory. Cool, huh?

Can you believe this happened right in Atlantic City?

Find out more HERE.


Inventions you probably didn't know are New Jersey born

Gallery Credit: Judi Franco

17 Google Maps Pictures of Nothing that Erase Every Stereotype of NJ

From "what exit" to "it's too congested," here are seventeen pictures that crush every stereotype that New Jersey has.

More From Cat Country 107.3