We take for granted the speed and convenience of the check stand at the local supermarket. But none of it would be possible without bar codes, which have made commerce and shipping more efficient than the wildest dreams of the generations that came before us.

The bar code turns 60 this month. It’s not a stretch to say that bar codes are everywhere today. Their reach certainly extends into government, where they’re being used for everything from taking inventory to airport screenings, to public transit.

Wasp Barcode Technologies, a manufacturer of tracking solutions, prepared the infographic below on the bar code's history. As you can see, their look has changed siginificantly as the years have gone by.