In memoriam to those who have contributed so much to the Automatic Identification industry. We shall be forever grateful for their efforts, their guidance and their friendship.
1926 – 2015
In the early 1950’s, as RCA was beginning to design color television vacuum tubes Francis X. Beck Jr., a newly graduated engineer from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute was hired as an electronics designer that played a key role in the development of test equipment to evaluate early production prototype color television tubes. In his next assignment as a design engineer at RCA, he holds a patent in the design of equipment used to monitor and test the performance of a television transmitter’s broadcast signal.
During the cold war of the 1960’s, he participated in the development and design of hardware devoted to provide monitoring of the operation of a number of large radar systems identified as the “Ballistic Missile Early Warning System” (BMEWS). The subsystem to which he was assigned provided automatic fault and detection capability needed for maintenance of 24 hour readiness should a surprise ballistic missile attack on the United States ever occur.
In 1972, as the UPC (Universal Product Code) was being developed he co-authored the patent design for a supermarket checkout stand with a stationary laser that allowed cashiers to drag groceries past the laser beam and drop them directly into the bag. In the winter of 1973, one of Beck’s prototypical checkout stands was donated to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. The ceremony celebrating the bequest was jovial and somewhat informal, with the historic stand serving as an impromptu bar.
In addition to all his work, Francis and his wife Shirley, adopted four of their six children. Three of the children were adopted through “Welcome House”, Pearl S. Buck’s adoption agency. Then in 1978, they helped to establish the “Love the Children” adoption agency where they served on the board until the agency closed earlier this year. Francis also served on the Municipal Authority Board of East Goshen Township for 38 years.
Francis passed away on December 20, 2015 at the age of 89. He is survived by his wife Shirley of 65 years, along with six children, nine grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
1941 – 2020
Harry Burke died on November 14, 2000 in the VA Hospital in Palo Alto, CA. He was 82. According to his family, the cause of death was complications from Lyme disease, which he had contracted more than ten years ago.
Burke was a Stanford University graduate and a World War II veteran of the submarine service. He became active in the AIDC industry in 1976, when the California company he was working for – Data Pathing Systems (DPS) – was purchased by NCR. DPS was a developer and manufacturer of factory data collection terminals and Burke was then a product manager. Soon after the acquisition, DPS incorporated bar code scanning wands into its devices and Burke received his indoctrination into the newly emerging technology.
During the next 20 years, he remained totally engrossed in bar coding and became one of its most vocal and ardent supporters. After Burke left DPS in 1986, he devoted most of his time to writing and consulting. A native Californian, he was also a prolific poet and a naturalist who loved to explore the national parks and mountains. He authored four books (Automating Management Information, Volumes I & II; Handbook of Bar Coding Systems; Barcodes Galore), and wrote dozens of articles and monographs. These writings concentrated mostly on the factory floor applications of bar coding. Although his books were widely recognized by experts for their excellent coverage of the subject, they did not sell very well.
Dick Meyers (Delta Services), who worked with Burke at NCR and remained a friend, remarked this past week: “Harry was brilliant, but his writing style was somewhat scholarly and did not lend itself to easy reading.”
I first wrote about Burke in SCAN Newsletter in December 1980. In rereading the 23 SCAN articles that were subsequently published about him through 1994, I found that my reporting demonstrated an unabashed admiration for his unusual intelligence, acerbic wit, and total integrity. He did not abide fools nor tolerate dishonesty. Some considered him to be difficult, irascible and contentious, but he was one of the seminal thinkers of the AIDC industry. He was an honored, charter member of the AIDC 100 organization.
Burke could leave a memorable first impression. George Wright (PIPS, Inc.), who developed the add-on bar code to the UPC symbol to identify magazines and books, still remembers his only meeting with Burke — at an early SCAN-TECH. “He seemed to be aware of the role I played with the add-on codes,” Wright recently recalled. “His comments were incisive and biting and not particularly complimentary.” What Wright may not have been aware of, at the time, was that Burke hated the proliferation of different bar code formats. He was a firm believer in the capabilities of just two or three symbologies to handle all applications.
In April 1991, Burke wrote an open letter to the Postmaster General of the U.S. Postal Service about that agency’s “multibillion dollar program…to automate mail-handling by instrumenting the reading of ZIP+4 codes.” In typical Burkestyle he noted: “Unfortunately, the postal program…is compromised before it is off the ground….Postnet (a clocked bar code) is demonstrably well behind state-of-the-art; it is numeric only (not able to handle international ZIPs); it is difficult to print; it cannot be read by the inexpensive instruments now used throughout industry; its read-reliability is substandard; and it does not lend itself well for use in automating the sortation of either packages or bulk mail….By choosing its own symbology, the Postal Service is driving a knife into the very heart of one of the most important challenges U.S. industry has ever faced.”
Burke’s contempt for the “establishment” was legendary. By his own admission, he disliked confrontation at meetings and preferred memos in which he could blast away at will. In September 1985, he wrote a 24-page memo to Roger Palmer (Intermec) attacking the bar code standards that were being established by the Technical Symbology Committee of AIM/US. “AIM is not a proper standardization forum,” Burke warned. “AIM members are responsible for maximizing the sale of their employers’ products [resulting in]…a direct conflict of interest.” Then, focusing his comments directly on Palmer, Burke admonished: “I do not see how you can perform your position as chairman of the Symbology Committee. You have a legal obligation to the stockholders of Intermec. To perform this duty, your decisions must promote the sale of Intermec’s products to the best you are able. As chairman of a key Symbology Committee, you have an obligation to those who are trying to use bar codes. I hold these two tasks to be in direct conflict.”
No one was exempt from Burke’s criticisms. In August 1988, in response to an article I wrote about major changes anticipated for bar code scanning in the future, Burke replied: “You merely recount symptoms rather than outline what is really going on. In actuality, bar coding is breaking out of its labeling shell to become ‘barcodese’…an instrument-to-instrument communication technique….[that will extend into] every nook and cranny of corporate affairs.”
During the past few weeks, in reviewing my 20-year association and friendship with Harry Burke, I have tried to assess his impact on the AIDC industry. He never invented any scanning device, or developed a successful bar code, or wrote important standards, or even participated in an industry committee. But we all knew that he was watching from the sidelines, ready to spot any inconsistencies, or to slice through the “baloney.” (In 1985, Harry actually wrote an essay titled “Bar Code Baloney”; it was about a curious syndrome that came over him every time he attended a seminar on bar coding and found himself uttering the word “baloney” over and over as the speakers attempted to educate their unsuspecting and naïve audiences.) Every industry – actually every company – should have its own Harry Burke monitoring events with a knowledgeable, irreverent, fearless eye toward preserving the integrity of its activities. The AIDC industry was fortunate to have had the original. We will miss him.
Harry Burke, who was divorced many years ago, is survived by his three children, Kevin, 53, of El Granada, CA, Trina 48, and Jeffrey, 45, of Belmont, CA; and four grandchildren.
by George Goldberg, SCAN: The DATA CAPTURE Report
Dick Dilling was Vice-President for Marketing and Sales of Interface Mechanisms (now Intermec Technologies) from 1971 to 1982 – the days before there was any established market for the then curiosity known as bar codes. In 1971, Dr. David Allais (an AIDC 100 member) of the company had invented a keyboard driven printer to produce pressure sensitive labels with the Plessey bar code, used with library systems in the UK.
In the 70s, when the firm’s only product was this printer, at MHI trade shows, visitors would ask, “Why would I want that device?” The answers became easier when Intermec developed its own wand scanners and displays. Dick was tireless in his constant efforts to promote and find uses for the new technology.
When AIM became an independent trade group, Dick was elected as the Vice-President; and his energy and enthusiasm were utilized in planning and staging in 1982 the first of the very successful Scan-Tech trade shows, which he repeated in 1983. Shortly thereafter he succumbed to cancer. In his honor and memory, AIM established in 1984 the Dilling Award given annually to an individual within the industry who has rendered outstanding service in the promotion of AIDC
Douglas C. Edgell
Douglas C. Edgell, founder and President of Edgell Communications, died Saturday, April 11, 1998, in Atlanta, Georgia, as a result of a massive head injury, which is currently under criminal investigation. He was returning home from a business trip at the time. A native of Greenwich, Connecticut, Douglas Edgell was born in 1951 and grew up in magazine publishing. His father, Robert, a long-time publishing executive, was Chief Executive Officer of Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, now Harcourt Brace & Co.
Douglas Edgell began his publishing career in 1973, serving in sales and management positions with Ziff Davis, Conde Nast, and Gordon Publications. In 1984 he started Edgell Communications with his wife and business partner, Gabriele, launching the first in a series of successful technology-based magazines, Automatic ID News, which they later sold to another publisher. Doug became widely known and respected in the information technology and publishing communities. Gabriele said her husband had a great gift for helping people figure out what made them happy. “He was always there for other people and wanted them to succeed,” she said.
Over the next ten years, Douglas and Gabriele Edgell founded and launched seven new magazines: RIS News, Consumer Goods Manufacturer, Retail Systems Reseller, Data Capture Reseller, Hospitality Technology, Selling Christmas Decorations, and Selling Halloween, all of which remain in active publication today. His company, based in Randolph, New Jersey, employs approximately 40 people.
Douglas Edgell was an avid sportsman and enjoyed weekends in the Adirondacks. He was an elite amateur water skier, snow skier, snowmobiler, and off-road enthusiast. He is survived by his wife Gabriele, his daughter, Katherine, 14, and his son, Gregory, 10. He is also survived by his mother, Kathleen Edgel of Alexandria, Virginia, and four sisters: Robin Davis of Hamilton, Massachusetts; Sarah Edgell and Deborah Oberg, both of Denver, Colorado; and Jane Edgell of New York City. He also leaves behind four nieces and three nephews.
“Doug was a dynamic man,” said Gabriele. “He adored his children and was a wonderful son. He cared about his employees and his sisters, and always tried to be there for people.”
Gerry Ryerson, Edgell Communications’ Chief Operating Officer, commented, “Douglas Edgell’s vision, strength and leadership will be greatly missed; the magazines he founded and built will live on through the inspiration and dedication he inspired and under the able direction of Gabriele Edgell.”
1928 – 2017
Armen John Esserian, Inventor of the First Handheld Barcode Reader, Passes Away
Armen John Esserian of Lincoln, Mass., formerly of Cambridge and Lexington, passed away on March 20 with his loving family by his side. Beloved father of John A. Esserian and his wife Jennifer, Pamela Esserian, Melanie Jandl, and her husband James. Proud and cherished grandfather of John and Robert Esserian, Samantha and Jillian Jandl. Loving brother of Gloria Kapalis, Helen Esserian, and the late Madeleine Koshgarian. Many special nieces, nephews, cousins, and long-time companion the late Marie Burch.
Armen John Esserian was born July 15, 1928 to Arika and Jack in Watertown, Mass. His formative interests included Cartography, Classical Music, Fine Art, and Middle East History. In his Senior Honor’s year at Watertown High, Armen authored La Mer, a compilation of oceanic poetry paired with charming marine-themed sketches. This hard covered treasure of creativity was inspired by Debussy’s symphony, “La Mer”.
Armen was awarded a full ROTC scholarship to attend Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Impeccably timed, his graduating class of 1950 was the final eligible year of acceptance for WWII recruits. Armen’s path to becoming an engineer was afoot. While studying Economics and Engineering, Esserian was also passionate about his aviation training. He often stopped by the family restaurant, Queens Lunch, before commuting by streetcar to classes in Cambridge. When the government no longer needed young servicemen after WWII, Mr. Esserian’s aviation dreams were replaced with another vision.
After his MIT graduation, his career path led to the Star Market Supermarket chain. Amidst the food industry, Armen also known as John, applied his state-of-the-art insights. In 1957 he posted a letter to himself (MIT Library Archives), outlining a vision that would revolutionize the grocery industry forever. This historic letter included a block diagram of a computerized check-out System using a handheld “scanner” and pricing via data codes. In 1960, as president of his new company, “Character Recognition” or CHARECOGN, Inc., John designed a black and white circular SUNBURST to encode data.
Charecogn, Inc. developed cutting-edge technology that created a “scanner” device that read the sunburst codes, which held numerous US Patents. In August 1970, Charecogn, Inc. demonstrated the ease of bar code scanning to the USDA, who originally used this technology in the New England dairy industry. The USDA press release of this 1970 demo stated “CHARECOGN SYSTEMS, INC. is the first firm to develop a working trial model. The event was covered by NBC, ABC, BBC, Wall St. Journal, Wash. Post. John was deluged for demo requests of his invention from Paris to the Pentagon.
In 1999 John attended The Smithsonian Museum of Washington, D.C., where an exhibit detailing the invention of the product identification code and highlighting John’s contributions specifically was unveiled.
Funeral services at Saint James Armenian Church, 465 Mount Auburn Street Watertown on March 24 at 11 a.m. Visiting hours at the Aram Bedrosian Funeral Home, 558 Mount Auburn Street, Watertown on March 23, from 4-8 p.m. Relatives and friends are kindly invited to attend. In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to Saint James Armenian Church or Armenian Museum of America (65 Main Street, Watertown, Mass. 02472). Interment at Mount Auburn Cemetery.
James F. Fales
James Frederick Fales “Jim” of Athens, at the age of 66,departed this world and was taken home to be with our Lord on Sunday, August 3, 2008 at O’Bleness Memorial Hospital after suffering a stroke on a church mission trip in Romania. He was born in West Palm Beach, Florida on December 6, 1941, the son of the late Franklin A. & Ruth Ufford Fales.
A Professor Emeritus at Ohio University, Dr. James Fales was the former Chair of the Industrial Technology Department for 20 years and Director of the Center for Automatic Identification. He was Loehr professor emeritus and served as the Associate Director of the Robe Leadership Institute and Leader-in-Residence in the Global Leadership Center at Ohio University. He was also a recipient of the Don Percival Award and was recently awarded a distinguished alumni award from Texas A&M University. Jim held previous teaching posts at Purdue University and Texas A&M University and was considered one of the nation’s foremost educational authorities on bar coding.
Jim is a graduate of Lake Worth (FL) High School, University of Miami (B. Ed.) and Texas A&M University (M. Ed. & P. Ed.). He was a Certified Manufacturing Engineer (CMfgE), a Certified Enterprise Integrator (CEI) and a Certified Engineering Manager (CEM). He received numerous awards for outstanding teaching and contributions to education, associations, business and industry. He was a frequent speaker at conferences and has authored many textbooks and articles. He was an active member, Sunday school teacher and former deacon at Albany Baptist Church where he served dutifully for the past 22 years.
Jim is survived by his adoring wife Sharon; children Scott (Stacey) Fales, Jennifer Fales (Greg Morris), Beth (Reno) Carifa and Mark (Jessica) Fales; grandchildren, Sarah, Jake, Allison, Cameryn and Colin Fales; siblings Jane Roney, Don Fales and Cliff (Georgia) Fales; and by many loving nieces and nephews.
In addition to his son, he is survived by a daughter, Lori Ellen Concilio of McDonald; two sisters, Irene Schepartz of Tallahassee, Fla., and Lois Shapiro of Pittsburgh; and two granddaughters.
Milton Field 91, who devoted his working life to codes — first breaking Japanese codes for the U.S. Army during World War II and later developing bar codes used on consumer goods.
The Hill District native graduated at age 16 from Schenley High School in 1933 and got a job at James H. Matthews & Co., which later became Matthews International, a Pittsburgh firm whose products include stamping and marking materials.
While beginning what would become a nearly 50-year career with Matthews, Mr. Field studied printing at Connelly Trade School and later at Carnegie Institute of Technology, a predecessor to Carnegie Mellon University, where in 1940 he earned a degree in print management and graphic arts.
When Mr. Field enlisted in the Army in August 1941, he was selected to train as a code breaker for the Signal Corps and the following year was sent to New Guinea in the South Pacific.
“Bad days for the Allies. We were on the defensive with minimal forces,” Mr. Field told The Pittsburgh Press in a 1978 interview. But the young soldier was on the team that decoded an intercepted message that detailed Japanese plans to attack New Guinea in early 1943. Using the advance information, Allied air forces assembled bombing crews and eventually won a major victory in the Battle of the Bismarck Sea. Mr. Field’s unit received a Presidential Citation for its efforts and Mr. Field also earned three Bronze Stars during his military service, said his son, James Field of Mt. Lebanon.
Milt Field is truly one of the founding fathers of the Auto-ID industry. When the U. P. C. Symbol was introduced, Milt immediately recognized the great potential in this technology. At this time, working at Matthews International Corporation, he became a pioneer in the implementation of this technology across a wide range of applications.
Milt created the Symbol Systems business unit at Matthews, a major supplier of plates to the printing and graphics industry. This unit started out creating U. P. C. bar code symbol artwork using a labor intense method to produce the film masters. Recognizing the need for faster, more efficient and a more accurate method for producing masters, Milt worked with Perkin-Elmer Corporation (and Harry Palmer, who later founded RJS) to develop a state of the art photo-plotter (micro-densitometer) that quickly and accurately produced symbol film masters to a tolerance of ±5 microns.
Again, working with Harry Palmer, Milt obtained for Matthews the initial exclusive sales and marketing rights for the first automatic bar code verification device, the Matthews Micro-Chek (also known as the Auto-Scan). This unit was, for many years, the only device capable of verifying a film master to the ±5 microns spec.
In the mid-1970’s the U.P.C. program was struggling to become accepted. [In fact in 1976 Business Week published an article headlined ‘The Supermarket Scanner That Failed’.] Milt developed a series of educational seminars sponsored by Matthews to promote symbol source-marking to supermarket suppliers, a first for any AIDC equipment vendor. Milt championed the technology to a broad range of industries; and was particularly influential in the adoption of the U.P.C. by the magazine, recording and alcoholic beverage industries.
Because the Graphics Division of Matthews was a major supplier of plates for printing on corrugated, both in the U.S. (14 plants) and Europe, Milt was a pioneer in the development of the SCC using the Interleaved Two of Five symbology. He was a charter member of the Distribution Symbology Study Group (DSSG) that developed the specifications for the SCC, a major initial step toward the use of barcodes in logistics and warehouse management.
Milt received a BA in Graphic Arts from Carnegie Institute of Technology (latter to become Carnegie Mellon University).
Co-Founder of AIDC 100
George Goldberg, former editor and publisher of SCAN Newsletter, died on December 10, 2003 at North Shore Hospital in Manhasset, LI from cardiac arrest due to complications from pneumonia.
George was born on March 19, 1925 in Harlem, New York City, the second son of a retail salesman of fabric for women’s dresses. Both his parents had been youngsters from Russia who spoke no English when they arrived in the U.S. by boat from Europe, via Ellis Island, just after the turn of the century. Their poor families had settled in Brooklyn in search of the American dream.
George graduated from Lafayette High School in Brooklyn in January 1942, two months short of his 17th birthday and one month after Pearl Harbor.
After completing a year at City College of NY, he was drafted in May 1943, after he turned 18. He trained for half-a-year in the Army Air Corps to be an officer/navigator, but, after the Battle of the Bulge, he was transferred to the regular Army and served in France and Germany for 14 months as a private in the headquarters unit of the Seventh Army, 63rd Division, 253rd Regiment.
After the war, he graduated from City College of NY in 1948, majoring in statistics, and then received a Masters in business administration from NYU two years later.
His first job, in Manhattan, was project leader for three years with a market research agency specializing in surveys of young people. His next position, also in NYC, was as chief statistician for a newly-formed Department of Defense joint procurement agency.
In 1954, he joined a diversified American Stock Exchange-listed company, Kleer Vu Industries, headquartered in Manhattan, which manufactured and marketed plastic products and microfilm equipment. He was with the firm for 18 years, serving as general manager, executive vice president, and then president/CEO.
In 1975, George and his wife, Teddy, co-founded their own company, GGX Associates, Inc., devoted to products for the just-emerging automatic identification/data capture (AIDC) industry. GGX, based in Great Neck, NY became one of the leading marketers of film masters and pressure sensitive labels for UPC and other bar code applications. The company was sold in 1992.
There were no publications in the mid-1970’s covering the fledgling AIDC industry. To fill this need, George began publishing SCAN Newsletter in September 1977 – at first with fewer than 100 subscribers. At that time, auto ID simply involved bar coding; and bar coding was almost exclusively supermarket checkout scanning. Over the next two decades, the industry grew to include many ADC-related technologies with worldwide applications in retailing, manufacturing, distribution, transportation, healthcare, communications, and federal and local government operations.
SCAN was a unique management and marketing newsletter covering worldwide developments in bar coding, radio frequency (RFID and RFDC), and related AIDC technologies. In 1982, SCAN established the prestigious, annual Percival Award recognizing special contributions to AIDC by individuals or organizations from the user community.
When SCAN Newsletter was sold to Corry Publishing in 1996, it had paid subscribers in twenty-six countries. George remained Contributing Editor of SCAN: The DATA CAPTURE Report.
George conducted seminars on bar coding in the US, Canada, Europe, Russia, and China; he was the technical advisor to the book publishing industry committee on bar coding; he served as a member of the ANSI committees which established standards for package marking; he has written articles on AIDC for numerous publications.
He was particularly proud of his most recent achievement as a co-founder of AIDC 100, an organization of the leading professionals from the AIDC industry. Under his leadership and guidance, the Melville Library at the State University of New York at Stony Brook has established a Special Collection for the AIDC 100 Industry archive.
George is survived by his wife of 55 years and longtime business partner, Teddy. They had two sons and a daughter. Jeff, 53, is an author and TV producer in Washington, DC; Robbi, 49, is an artist in E. Moriches, LI; David, 42, is a music composer, who lives with his wife Nanci in Port Washington, NY and George’s baby grandson, Jonathan.
1926 – 2018
Teddy Goldberg, age 91, the retired co-founder and co-owner of Scan Newsletter and an AIDC100 inductee, died on June 20, 2018 in a hospital in Manhasset, NY. She passed away peacefully in her sleep after a seven-month battle with pancreatic cancer.
Teddy Allen was born in Brooklyn, NY in June, 1926. Her parents were Jewish immigrants from two tiny villages in Eastern Europe. During the 1920s, her father owned an automobile garage and later, after the Depression, he worked as a baker. Teddy grew up in her parents’ home on E. 7th Street in Brooklyn with one older brother, Walter. She graduated from James Madison High School in 1944.
Teddy met George Goldberg when she was 16. He was a year older and lived just one block away on E. 8th Street. During the WW II, while she was still in high school, she served in the National Security Women’s Corps, an auxiliary group which supported the war effort. She also started college at night and passed the civil service exam in order to work for a year (1944) as the secretary to the Lieutenant in charge of the Naval Clothing Depot in Brooklyn. She completed two years at NY’s City College before taking a full-time job, at age 19, as the office manager in Manhattan for a small fabrics manufacturer (where she worked for five years).
George came home in 1946 from the Army in Europe and they were married the next year in Brooklyn during the Great Blizzard of 1947, with a honeymoon in Lake Placid. They were devotedly married for fifty-five exciting and eventful years (including a close professional, working partnership), until his passing in 2003.
From 1950, with the birth of the first of their three children, until 1974, she was a homemaker, raising her family in Jericho, Long Island (where she served on the first PTA and helped plan the new high school), and then Great Neck, NY.
In 1974, she returned to work full-time as co-owner (with George) and office manager of GGX Associates of Great Neck, a leading supplier of bar code film masters and labels for UPC and other applications. In 1977, they also co-founded Scan Newsletter, a management and marketing monthly which covered worldwide developments in the auto-identification industry. She was subscription manager until 1996.
As Scan Newsletter’s reputation grew in the auto-id industry, she regularly attended, with George, the annual SCAN Tech conventions from 1980-96. And, in 2006, she was inducted at Scan Tech in Atlanta, as an honorary member into AIDC100, an organization of the leading professionals from the auto-id industry.
Richard Meyers, chairman emeritus of AIDC100, said on her passing: “Teddy was always a tremendous inspiration and influence on George, who was one of the three founding fathers of AIDC100, and she continued that input for fifteen years after his death. And she was loved by all in the AIDC100 community.”
In 1995, George and Teddy together initiated the Special Collection of Scan Newsletter archives at Stony Brook University, NY. That collection was later expanded to include the papers for the AIDC-100 and other prominent AIDC-100 members.
Teddy will be remembered by all who knew her as a charming and stylish woman who was great listener, who always accessible to everyone, and who was admired and loved by a wide range of friends and family members.
Teddy is survived by her three children — Jeff, Robbi, and David, and his wife, Nanci, and their son, Jonathan.
As Teddy remarked recently, reflecting back, it was her great wish that everyone should love their life as much as she loved hers.
from the New York Times… Alan Haberman, who ushered In the Bar Code, dies at 81 On a summer morning in 1974, a man in Ohio bought a package of chewing gum and the whole world changed. At 8:01 a.m. on June 26 of that year, a 10-pack of Wrigley s Juicy Fruit gum slid down a conveyor belt and past an optical scanner. The scanner beeped, and the cash register understood, faithfully ringing up 67 cents. That purchase, at a Marsh Supermarket in Troy, Ohio, was the first anywhere to be rung up using a bar code. Today, trillions of beeps later, what was once a novel technology with uncertain prospects is so widespread as to be almost invisible. It informs nearly every aspect of modern life, providing a means for people to buy and sell things, couriers to track packages and airlines to locate (in principle, anyway) lost luggage. This transformation, industry experts say, is largely because of the work of one person, a supermarket executive from Massachusetts named Alan L. Haberman, who died on Sunday at 81. Mr. Haberman did not invent the universal product code, or U.P.C., as the most prevalent type of bar code is formally known. But it is to him that its sheer black-and-white ubiquity and familiar graphic form are primarily owed. His death, in Newton, Mass., was of complications of heart and lung disease, his family said. Born of an effort to modernize the grocery industry, the U.P.C. standardized the way consumer product information is represented in the electronic age. It has spread to every corner of human endeavor, creating an unlikely global family of bar-coded bedfellows that includes bran flakes and books and bananas, bus tickets, babies and bees. Tens of millions of different objects have acquired bar codes over the years; each day, more than five billion of the codes are scanned in retail establishments worldwide, according to GS1 US, the nonprofit organization based in Lawrenceville, N.J., that issues and administers the codes. Mr. Haberman led the industry committee that chose the bar code over other contenders circles, bull s-eyes and seemingly random agglomerations of dots in 1973. By all accounts, he spent years afterward cajoling manufacturers, retailers and the public to accept the strange new symbol, which resembles a highly if irregularly compacted zebra. His efforts helped cement the marriage between the age-old practice of commerce and the new world of information technology. Alan Lloyd Haberman was born in Worcester, Mass., on July 27, 1929. He earned a bachelor s degree in American history and literature from Harvard in 1951 and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School in 1953. After a brief career on Wall Street as a stock analyst, he joined Hills Supermarkets, a Long Island chain, as executive vice president. In the mid-1960s, after a merger with E. J. Korvette, the discount retailer, Mr. Haberman was named president of Hills-Korvette Supermarkets. He was later the chief executive of Finast, a Massachusetts-based supermarket chain. The bar code dates back to the 1940s, when two graduate students at the Drexel Institute of Technology in Philadelphia, Norman Joseph Woodland and Bernard Silver, developed it for use in grocery stores. They received a patent in 1952, but because scanning technology was poor then, their invention went largely unused. Over the next two decades, some manufacturers and retailers put their own product coding systems in place, but one company s system was usually unintelligible to another s. As Stephen A. Brown, the author of Revolution at the Checkout Counter, a history of the bar code, explained in a telephone interview, The grocery product manufacturers Kellogg s, General Mills, people like that they were terrified at the thought that they would soon be facing conflicting demands from their customers: that Safeway would ask them to put on a symbol that was a semicircle, that Kroger would ask them to put on a symbol that was a square, and so on. Mr. Brown, a former general counsel to the Grocery Manufacturers of America and later to the Uniform Code Council, as GS1 US was previously known, was present during the bar-code selection process. By the early 1970s, amid rising inflation, supermarkets wanted to cut labor costs by automating the ways their wares were stocked, inventoried and rung up. A committee of executives was convened, with Mr. Haberman as its chairman, to choose a standard symbol that could be used nationwide to encode product data electronically. By this time the Woodland-Silver patent had lapsed, and the committee examined submissions from more than a dozen technology companies. As Mr. Brown recalled, Mr. Haberman soon came to favor a design of black-and-white vertical bars, created by George J. Laurer of I.B.M. and inspired by the Woodland-Silver model. The design would print crisply, which meant scanners could read it clearly. Through its varying patterns of thick and thin bars, it could efficiently represent the 11 digits needed to encode data about manufacturer and product. (Today, U.P.C. codes typically have 12 digits.) Mr. Haberman s committee comprised more than half a dozen type-A businessmen, and discussion could be fractious. At one meeting, in San Francisco in the early 1970s, as Mr. Brown s book reports, Mr. Haberman found a spectacularly good way to smooth dissent. First he organized a dinner at one of the city s finest restaurants. Then he took everyone to a local movie theater to see Deep Throat. Not long afterward, the committee voted unanimously for the I.B.M. bar code, adopted in April 1973. Mr. Haberman, who lived in Natick, Mass., is survived by his wife, the former Natalie Diamond; two children, Arthur Haberman and Jeanette Gannon; two sisters, Elaine Feldman and Arnalee Cohen; and five grandchildren. A daughter, Nan Haberman, died before him, as did a grandson. As a founder and longtime board member of the Uniform Code Council, Mr. Haberman was for decades an ambassador for automated product identification in all its forms, from the bar code to newer technologies like radio frequency identification, now used by some retailers. Go back to Genesis and read about the Creation, he told The Boston Globe in 2004. God says, I will call the night night ; I will call the heavens heaven. Naming was important. Then the Tower of Babel came along and messed everything up. In effect, the U.P.C. has put everything back into one language, a kind of Esperanto, that works for everyone. That language is everywhere. At hospitals throughout the world, newborns are identified by means of bar codes on bracelets. Marathon runners take to the streets, bar codes on chests. Scientists tracking the movements of honeybees have glued tiny bar codes onto their backs. In recent years, the new generation of two-dimensional, cellphone-scannable bar codes heirs of the U.P.C. code has let consumers track the lowest price of a favorite product or scan a real estate sign to see photos of a house for sale. And today, in Washington, somewhere in the bowels of the Smithsonian Institution s National Museum of American History, lies a 37-year-old, bar-coded package of Juicy Fruit gum. Part of the museum s permanent collection, it is an unassailable, if by now unchewable, piece of the national past.
Dr. Albert Heijn
Albert Heijn, who died in January 2011 at age 83, played a key role in turning his family’s Dutch grocery chain into the international food retailing group Royal Ahold, which owns more than 3,000 supermarkets in Europe and the US. He also pioneered many features of modern supermarkets, such as standardised barcodes and own brands. Ahold, which includes such American chains as Bi-Lo, Giant Food Stores and Stop & Shop, had revenues of more than ¬29bn ($39bn) in 2010. The original family company founded in 1887 by Heijn s grandfather also called Albert is the Dutch equivalent of Britain s Tesco or Sainsbury, with more than 800 stores. Nicknamed Appie by the Dutch, it is credited with introducing many customers to exotic foods and ready-made meals. Heijn was among the first supermarket bosses to introduce sell-by dates, organic and other private label products as well as bonus or club cards and the machine-readable barcode system at check-outs. In the early 1970s, he was a driving force behind the international barcode standard used in most countries today. He and his younger brother, Gerrit Jan Heijn, oversaw the family company s expansion until Gerrit was kidnapped and murdered in 1987 in spite of payment of an undisclosed ransom. Heijn retired two years after his brother s death but rather than Monte Carlo or the Dutch Caribbean, he settled in a castellated mid-19th century mansion outside the sleepy English village of Pudleston, Herefordshire, on an estate dotted with ornamental lakes and a herd of imported alpacas. He and his fourth wife, Monique Everwijn Lange, whom he married in 1992, became philanthropists in the local community. He set up a company, Eign Enterprise based on the way English neighbours pronounced his name which created what became known as the Left Bank village, a complex of shops, bars, restaurants and a conference centre on the banks of the river Wye. Described as a little corner of England that is forever Holland , the village brought vibrancy to the area for a while but ultimately proved unprofitable and was sold. Born in Zaandam in the Netherlands in 1927, the young Albert was diagnosed with polio while still at school and spent his latter years in a wheelchair. He studied economics at the University of Amsterdam before graduating from the Nyenrode School of Business, now Nyenrode Business University, and joined the family business. His training included stints with the Swiss Migros chain in Zurich and with Pearks and Maypole in London. He introduced Heijn supermarkets magazine, AllerHande, which today has a monthly circulation of more than 2m. He became chief executive of Albert Heijn in 1962, and of the parent company Ahold in 1973. His motto was: You don t sell on behalf of your suppliers you buy on behalf of your customers. I want my customers to feel fun, convenience and trust. When he retired, he donated a statue that stands outside the company s headquarters. Depicting a customer carrying shopping bags, the statue, nicknamed Beppie by the Dutch, bears the inscription: Lest we forget for whom we work. I may be a born businessman, but I still feel more empathy for the shopper than for businesses who are only concerned with their stock price and their latest takeover bid, Mr Heijn said in an interview. I m proud that my passport lists my profession as grocer . It s one of the finest professions in the world. He is survived by his wife Monique and his son Albert from his first marriage to Herma Schipper. from The Financial Times Limited 2011.
Fred Heiman (1939-2020)
Fred was an engineer and physicist, who helped develop several technologies that are now a part of everyday life. Over Fred’s 35-year career, he won numerous awards, and held over 50 patents. His life was filled with extraordinary richness of family, friends, travel and adventure, projects and inventions, sports cars, music and wildlife.
Fred was born in the Bronx and raised in Brooklyn, NY. Fred’s first love was music, and he became a proficient trumpet player in his youth, playing gigs at weddings, bar mitzvahs and jazz clubs. The thrill of jam sessions soon gave way to the exhilaration of scientific discovery as he turned to science and technology, graduating summa cum laude from City College of New York with an undergraduate degree in electrical engineering.
In 1962, while pursuing his PhD in solid-state physics from Princeton University, and working at RCA Laboratories, Fred was the co-inventor of the first working MOS integrated circuit, incorporating 16 transistors.
After leaving RCA Fred became the head of Mars Electronics, a division of the Mars Candy Company. His team at Mars developed the first fully electronic coin mechanism for use in vending machines.
While working at Symbol Technologies in the early 1990’s Fred led a team to create one of the first mobile handheld computers – complete with operating system, applications, wireless connectivity and a built-in bar code scanner. It was called the “integrated scanning terminal,” and was a precursor to smart phones, which would be introduced 15 years later. At this time, Fred became a prominent figure in the creation of the 802.11 IEEE standard for LAN communications, later known as Wi-Fi. Fred and Symbol wrote the first Wi-Fi specification, developed the first Wi-Fi chips and released the first products. He retired from Symbol in 1999.
Fred met and married Peggy, the love of his life, in Philadelphia and they embarked on their life of adventure. In 1983 they moved to California, where both worked at Intel Corporation. Life in California led to a love of scuba diving and underwater videography. Fred and Peggy traveled the world in search of sea creatures large and small. Fred garnered recognition from the international underwater photography community, including the Stan Waterman Award for Excellence in Underwater Videography. Fred developed a passion for wildlife, ultimately traveling to over 60 countries to film and photograph most of the major animal species in their natural habitats. Fred’s YouTube channel includes many of his wildlife and underwater films, with “Lions of the Kalahari” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ISjOqSUp68) garnering over 1.2 million views.
Music never left his life, and it was opera that fueled his passion in the couple’s retirement years. Fred and Peggy used their skills to film every opera produced by Opera San José to create promotional videos and commercials. Fred served as Vice President of the Board of Trustees, as well as Chair of the Long-Range Planning Committee.
Woodworking became Fred’s other passion during his retirement. He challenged himself, using his love of art and technology to design and build intricate, original pieces, which fill the homes of his beloved family.
Fred was first and foremost, the patriarch and leader of his extended family. He led by example, with kindness, generosity, warmth and compassion. Graced with many talents and a wellspring of love, Fred leaves behind a beautiful legacy of technological innovations, wood sculptures, wildlife videos and records of annual family get-togethers.
He will be greatly missed by his loving wife Peggy and their children; Susan Fitzgerald (Mike), Lynn Newman (George), Rachel Heiman, Mitchell Levy (Alex), Stuart Levy (Christine), Lauren Skye (Eric) and his grandchildren, Claire (Christopher), Lily, Duncan, Sophie, Willa, Taylor, Madison and Ethan.
When Dick Mindlin prepared to retire as the first staff head of the UCC, the Board decided his successor should be an educator and motivator, skilled in the development and implementation of education programs. The development of the U.P.C. was complete and the grocery industry was well on its way to full use. The Board considered education the Code Council’s primary ongoing function.
In the spring of 1983, a search was initiated to find such a candidate. The winner was Harold Juckett, a career Xerox executive with a significant background in customer education and training. He matched almost perfectly the profile for a successor to Mindlin, Juckett made his first appearance at the November Board meeting, a month before he became an employee.
After Mindlin’s retirement, Juckett began to develop his image of what the UCC should be. In his vision, UCC standards should be expanded beyond the grocery industry and across the ocean. It was Hal Juckett who recognized that the UCC’s future lay in global supply chain management. When he joined UCC, it had a staff of 7.
BERNARD I. KNILL, age 82, of Lakewood, Ohio passed away Friday, January 22, 2010.
Bernard Knill won more than two dozen awards during six decades of industrial journalism. “Bernie Knill played the typewriter like Mozart played a piano,” wrote Tom Andel, who succeeded Knill in 2000 as chief editor of Penton Media’s former Material Handling Engineering magazine, now Material Handling Management. “Both composed masterpieces in their heads.”
He was born in Cleveland and lived mostly in Lakewood. He worked for the magazine from 1957 to 2000 and contributed articles in retirement. According to the magazine, Knill inspired federal training rules for lift truck operators and helped his industry win a long turf war with elevator inspectors. His many honors included the first lifetime achievement award from the American Society of Business Publication Editors and a lifetime award from the Material Handling Industry Board of Governors.
Beloved Husband of 56 years to Sally (nee Todia). Loving Father of Stephen Knill (Beth), Susan Knill (David Wood), Judith Ranallo (fiancé Jeff Todia), infant Michael (deceased), Barbara Rook (Mark), Rebecca Knill, and Karla Straight (Tim). Dearest Grandfather of Sam (Melissa) Ranallo, Shawn Straight (Sherri Masceline), Joe Ranallo, Matthew Rook, Cristian Knill, Libby Rook, Emma Wood, and Andrew Bostwick. Dear Brother of Albert and the late Mary Faust and David. Brother-in-law of Tom Todia, Mary Todia, Betty Jane Knill, and the late Joseph Todia, Robert Todia, David Faust, and Inez Knill. Great-grandfather of Julia Straight. Uncle and Great Uncle.
Dr. Robert D. LaMoreaux, PhD, Lt, USNR, Supply Corps packed his sea bag and shipped out of this world on Monday evening September 20 in the same manner in which he lived his life, feisty and surrounded by loved ones. The official cause of death was heart failure and stroke, but his children believe it was a broken heart that never mended. He was finally ready to join his beloved wife Carole in Heaven.
Born on July 31, 1933 in Cleveland, Ohio to Hilda and Dave (Mark David) LaMoreaux, Robert attended elementary school in Trenton, Michigan and High School in Eustis, Lake County, Florida, where he was one of the first Eagle Scouts in the area. Robert graduated from The University of Pennsylvania Wharton School of Commerce and received his MBA and PhD from Michigan State University. In addition, he obtained a PhD from Central California University. He served in the Navy, retiring officially from the Naval Reserve after 13 years. Robert worked for 25 years for General Motors and concurrently for Lansing Community College where he taught for 30 years. Upon retiring from Oldsmobile, he began working at the MSU School of Packaging, where he taught and ran seminars for 15 years. In total, Robert taught for nine different institutions of higher education. Despite these many jobs, Robert was always home for 6:00 dinner and available to attend all his children’s school events.
Robert was recognized as a Barcode pioneer when he was elected an original member of the Automatic Identification Capture 100 Honorary Society. He gave numerous talks on barcode and automatic identification in this country and internationally. He wrote books on the subject and earned awards for writing standards in the field. In addition, he earned his Master Mechanic certificate and could fix anything on a car or in a house. His thriftiness in work, play and purchasing made him very innovative.
A few years ago, Robert compiled his “Bucket List” and completed it last year. He was an avid traveler, having visited all 50 state capitals, the North Pole, and many countries in Europe, South America and the Caribbean. He took one of the last Concorde flights across the Atlantic.
But by far, his greatest joy was his children and grandchildren. He regularly attended sports events, being the loudest rooter for Waverly teams and traveling to see his granddaughters play golf and volleyball and perform in plays. He was incredible at finding the adventure in everyday life whether it was planning capers to “steal” napkins from McDonalds, creating Camp GrandBob for his grandchildren or telling stories about his life on Pluto.
Well known and admired for his extraordinary eyebrows, dating became his hobby several years after his wife’s death and he made many new friends this way. He kept track of his travels with the ladies and all of his dates on his beloved iPhone, never double-booking. He gave a yearly neighborhood barbecue, and hosted parties for families, international guests, and Irish Americans.
Robert was predeceased by his wife, Carole Catherine Coyne, daughter Hilda, grandson Cristoffer Harris, his brother Duane, and Tom and Joyce Coyne. He is survived by his children and their spouses: Catherine and Lawrence Paone, Mary and Dan Browning, Coyne and Mark Harman, Rob and Danielle LaMoreaux, James and Bridget Wackerly, Carole and Hans Harris, and his housemate daughter, Rita. In addition to Cristoffer, he has eleven grandchildren: Anna and Laura Paone, Gwendolyn Browning, Chrysogonus and Michael Harman, Colin Hoard, Camille and Abigale LaMoreaux, Brittani, Hans and Carole Harris. He leaves behind his brothers and sisters-in-laws, David and Patti, Donald and Marlene, Douglas and Jenny, and Elizabeth; Cousins Harry and Betty Schmidt, Doris Siebert, and LaMoreaux and Coyne nieces and nephews. Despite claiming to hate animals, his special friends Leo, Catherine, Henry, Lola, and Buddy, will miss the treats he used to sneak them.
The wake will be held at Tiffany Funeral Home, 3232 W. Saginaw, Lansing, Thursday September 23rd at 7pm with viewing from 5pm to 8pm and Friday September 24th 11am to 4pm, with family available 11am to 2pm. Friends may sign the online guestbook at www.tiffanyfuneralhome.com.
The funeral Mass will be at 10:30am Saturday, September 25th at St. Gerard Parish, 4437 W. Willow Highway, Lansing. Interment will follow at St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the LaMoreaux Harris Memorial Fund, which was established in memory of Carole LaMoreaux, Hilda LaMoreaux and Cristoffer Harris. The Fund makes contributions to local libraries in their names. Contributions may be sent to: LaMoreaux Harris Fund, P.O. Box 14005 Lansing, MI 48901-4005, or through lamoreauxharrismemorial.org.
Donald F. Martin
Donald F. Martin, 77, a retired Air Force Colonel who from 1970 to 1979 ran the Alexandria-based company that helped implement bar codes on groceries, died March 13, 2001 of congestive heart failure at his home in Mount Vernon, Virginia.
Colonel Martin, who was born in Springfield, Massachusetts, joined the Army Air Forces in 1942. He commanded a B-17 “Flying Fortress” bomber in 25 combat missions over during World War II and received the Distinguished Flying Cross.
He came to the Washington area in the 1950s and moved to Mount Vernon in 1966. His last military assignment before his retirement from the Air Force in 1968 was as a public relations officer.
Trained in the military as a statistician, he went into research for the Washington-based National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors. He went on to become chief executive and president of its subsidiary, Distribution Codes Inc., which implemented the Universal Product Code program of laser scanning for groceries.
Colonel Martin was a member of Good Shepherd Catholic Church in Mount Vernon.
Survivors include his wife of 57 years, the former Marjorie Lee Scott, of Mount Vernontwo sons, Scott Martin of Alexandria and Matthew Martin of Spotsylvania; two daughters, Liza Navarro and Holly McFaul, both of Alexandria; and seven grandchildren.
Mass of Christian Burial will be offered on Wednesday April 11, 2001 at the Fort Myer Chapel, Arlington, at 12:45 p.m. Interment Arlington National Cemetery with full honors.
Richard J. Mindlin, age 90, of Washington Township, passed away December 24, 2004 at Sunrise Assisted Living Center of Oakwood. Born and reared in Kansas City, Missouri, he was a 47 year resident of Dayton. A graduate of the University of Missouri, Mr. Mindlin served in the U. S. Army Air Force and was commissioned a 2nd lieutenant in the Army during World War II.
For many years, Mr. Mindlin was an assistant vice-president at NCR, where he was involved in data processing, including the automation of bank cheques. He pioneered the NCR-UPC bar code scanner project, and upon retirement from NCR, he became the first CEO of the Uniform Product Code Council, which manages assignment of bar codes. During his tenure as CEO, use of the UPC bar code spread around the world. After retiring from UPC, Mr. Mindlin ran his own consulting business until age 83.
Richard is survived by Jean, his wife of 63 years, and one daughter, Toni, both of Washington Township. Additional survivors include brother-in-law Jack Lynch of Springfield, Missouri; nieces Sandy Lynch Evans and Susan Lynch Spruill, both of Missouri; niece Linda Lynch Uhler of Atlanta, Georgia; brother and sister-in-law Holland and Ella Clem of LaPlata, Missouri; nephew Daniel Clem of Dallas, Texas and nieces Martha Bagley of Wisconsin and Melba Bower of Missouri. Richard was very devoted to his wife and daughter.
During his long career, Richard traveled the world, from Tahiti to Great Britain. He relished this opportunity and especially enjoyed taking his wife and daughter on these trips when possible. He lived life with great enthusiasm, and will be missed for his optimism, joie de vivre, and kindness. He loved children, pets, gardening, golf, and flying. In recent years, Richard fought with determination against severe dementia and debilitating arthritis.
Because he wished to further medical science’s understanding of the human body, he arranged to donate his body to Wright State University’s School of Medicine and to the Harvard Brain Tissue Resource Center.
A memorial service in celebration of his life will be held on Saturday, January 8, at 3 p.m. (Tobias Funeral Home, Far Hills Chapel). In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that donations be made in his memory to either the Special Wish Foundation (223-9474) or to SICSA Pet Adoption Center (294-6505). Envelopes will be available at the memorial service.
Co-Founder of AIDC 100
Benjamin A. Nelson, 74 died Saturday morning September 15, 2001 at his home in East Swanzey after a battle with cancer.
He was born in Keene October 3, 1926, son of Benjamin Adelbert and Marion (Greenleaf) Nelson, and graduated from Keen High School in 1944.
During World War II, her served in the U.S. Army’s 752nd tank battalion, 88th Division in Italy. He was a Captain in the N.H. Natinal Guard and was recalled to active duty dure the Cuban missle crisis in 1962.
Mr. Nelson was the company archivist at Markem Corp. in Keene, retiring in 1995 after 42 years with the company. At the time of his death, he was still serving as the company’s archivist. As a spokesman for Markem, he spoke to more than 300 trade associations and universities in the United States, Europe, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, and wrote many papers.
In 1985, he received an industry award for his efforts to introduce bar-coding at the School of Packaging at Michigan State University. He served on many bar-code industry boards and in retirement consulted to that industry. In 1995, he formed Nelson Associates, devoted to education in automatic identification. In 1997, Helmers Publishing of Peterborough published his history of the industry, “Punched Cards to Bar Codes – A 200-Year Journey.”
Mr. Nelson enjoyed reading, many kinds of music, woodworking, collecting and showing antique tractors and engines, and travel. He was also a private pilot.
Survivors include his wife Eunice Ann (Scuf) (Parker) Nelson whom he married May 27, 1948, a daughter, Leslie Nelson Haines of Houston, a son, Douglas Nelson of East Swanzey, two grandchildren, and a niece and a nephew.
A memorial service will be held Tuesday at 4 p.m. at Fletcher Funeral Home and Cremation Services, 33 Marlboro St., Keene. Burial will be in Woodland Cemetery, Keene.
Friends may call Tuesday from 2 to 4 p.m. at the funeral home.
The family has asked that in lieu of flowers, contributions be made in Mr. Nelson’s memory either to the American Cancer Society, in care of Norma Jeanne Pinney, P.O. Box 87, West Swanzey 03469; or Kingsbury Center for Cancer Care, 580 Court St., Keene 03431.
A memorial resides at the AIDC 100 library and reads as follows:
Ben Nelson, 1926-2001, was an active and positive presence in the AIDC industry from its inception in the 1970’s. He was known worldwide for his memorable seminars on the basics of bar code symbology and printing.
In 1997, Ben authored the important reference book
“Punched Cards to Bar Codes.”
His humor, warmth, kindness and integrity forged a rock-sold lasting bond with all who knew him.
Ben was a co-founder of AIDC 100 in 1997 and remained a driving, inspirational force in the organization until his untimely passing.
He will be sorely missed by his friends and associates.
Don founded Machinery Electrification (subsequently MEKontrol, Inc.) in 1948 in the basement of his home and actively participated in its growth until his death in 1980. ME initially specialized in designing control systems for machine tools. Over the years, he expanded the offerings to electrical control equipment for all types of industrial machinery and processes including identification subsystems that used photoelectrics and unique identification devices to track and control product flow through manufacturing operations and warehouses.
Don attended the University of Michigan, working in the automotive industry in quality control, production planning, plant layout and related areas throughout his university years. Upon graduation, he joined the test and sales programs at General Electric where he designed custom machine tool control equipment. He moved from GE to become the chief electrical engineer for the Machine Tool Division of the Norton Company in Worcester, MA before leaving to launch Machinery Electrification a couple of years later.
Don was the recipient of many industry awards, including several patents and the Society for Advancement of Management’s prestigious “Progress of New England” honor. He was a member and officer of a number of professional and civic organizations, served on the Board of Trustees of Central New England College and distinguished himself as an avid, nationally ranked tennis player and devoted family man.
In 1971, Don co-founded the Automatic Identification Manufacturers’ (AIM) Product Section of the Material Handling Institute (MHI). He became the first chairman of the group in 1972, serving in that role and as a member of MHI’s Board of Directors through 1973. Don’s leadership and vision laid the foundation for AIM’s growth and, with it, the growth of the entire industry. Indeed, the annual Percival Award that is given to an individual or organization from the user community to recognize outstanding AIDC (Automatic Identification & Data Capture) contributions was established by the industry in his honor in 1982.
1951 – 2006
Bruce E. Philpot, age 55, of Lawrenceville, GA died August 28, 2006. He is survived by his wife, Lydia Philpot; daughters, Alina Fitzner and Casey Fitzner all of Lawrenceville. Memorial services will be held Friday, September 1 at 3:30 pm at Cannon United Methodist Church with Rev. Glenn Ethridge officiating. In lieu of flowers the family request donations to be made to Brookwood High School Band Association, 850 Dogwood Road, Suite A 400-542, Lawrenceville, GA 30044; Cannon United Methodist Church; 2424 Webb Gin House Road; Snellville, GA, in memory of Bruce E. Philpot. Tom M. Wages Funeral Service, Inc., Snellville Chapel, 770-979-3200
1931 – 2006
Joseph Jackson Sheppard, Jr. a resident of Battle Lake and Los Angeles, CA. died Sunday, November 19, 2006 at his home in California. Joe was born on February 25, 1931 in Blooming Grove, TX the son of Joseph J. and Freddie (Barham) Sheppard. He graduated from High School in Frost, TX in 1947. He attended Baylor University in Waco, TX, where he completed a B.A. in Physics and received an M.S. in Fluid Dynamics from the University of Minnesota. On February 6, 1953 he married Alma Olson of Battle Lake, MN. During their married years they resided in Minnesota, New York and California retiring to Battle Lake in 2000. Joe was a scientist and businessman. He was a senior engineer at the University of Minnesota Rosemount Aeronautical Laboratories from 1952-56 and a staff scientist at the Convair Scientific Research Laboratory in San Diego, CA from 1957-62. From 1962-67 he was a lecturer in Engineering at the State University of New York at Stony Brook where he completed his Ph D in Thermodynamics. He was a consultant to the RAND Corporation from 1963-67 when he joined their professional staff. His bio-engineering research activities dealt primarily with the human visual mechanism, stroke prevention and cardiac arrhythmia. He authored a book on human color perception in 1968. In 1971 he formed a company, CardioDynamics, where he developed and implemented the equipment, data collection, processing protocols and clinical interpretation standards for a noninvasive procedure known as dynamic electrocardiography. Now called the Holter EKG monitor, it is considered a standard procedure today. Cardio was acquired in 1978 and Joe left in 1979 to form a new company called XICO where he worked in magnetic stripe technology and manufacturing (automatic identification and data collection). In 1999, he was a recipient of the Dilling Award for contributions to the AIDC industry and was a member of the AIDC 100. Joe?s interests include writing, focusing in the areas of science and religion. He also enjoyed cooking for family and friends, his specialty being Mexican cuisine. Together with his wife, Alma he wrote a food column for the Fergus Falls Daily Journal. He also compiled and published a collection of Sheppard/Olson family recipes, called the Casa Alma Cookbook. He was a loving and giving person, to both family and friends. He was a member of the Battle Lake First Lutheran Church where he served on the church council. Joe was preceded in death by his parents, a brother Jack Sheppard and his daughter, Susan. He is survived by his wife, Alma; children, Joseph J. Sheppard III and wife Brenda; grandchildren, Joseph IV (JJ), Heather, Jackie and Julie, his daughter, Mary (Peter) McCaffrey, grandchildren Susan and Jonathan, and son Peter. He is also survived by two great-grandchildren.
19xx – 2007
Dick Wilcox was a true pioneer of bar code development. From 1960 through 1968 he led the 3M Company label development to parallel the Sylvania/GTE scanner invention and deployment, a joint effort to identify and track the movement of railroad cars.
In 1968 he became an early ‘Venture Capitalist when he personally invested $100,000 to assist AIDC 100 members David Collins and Chris Kapsambelis who had left Sylvania to co-found Computer Identics (CI) later joined by AIDC 100 members John Hill, Ed Andersson, Frank Goodfinger, Chuck Mara and Ted Williams.
His passion for technology made him an active and technically savvy contributor as a member of the CI Board from its inception until the company was sold in the 1990s.
Mr. Williams, age 58, an Acton resident for many years, died of liver failure on Monday, November 28, 2005 at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. He was the husband of the late Alice Wayland “Micki” (White) Williams, who died May 16, 2005.
Born in Driggs and raised in Pocetello, Idaho, he was the son of Thomas L. and Esther (Mickelsen) Williams of Glendale, Arizona.
Mr. Williams moved to Boston at the age of 18 to attend M.I.T. He worked as a mathematician in engineering field and most recently in software development. Mr. Williams enjoyed time spent with his family, hiking and camping. He often teased that given his name, he should be interested in baseball.
In addition to his parents, he is survived by two children, Michael & Libby of Acton; 4 brothers, Thomas M. Willlams of Phoenix, Arizona, Stephen J. Williams of Black Hawk, California, John C. of Dallas, Texas, and William R. Williams of Salt Lake City, Utah; and several nieces and nephews.
All are invited to a memorial service on Friday, December 1st at 10:00am in The First Parish Church in Concord, 20 Lexington Road, Concord. Interment will be private.