ARRIVE AT THE CHECKOUT with a trolley full of groceries. Cashier spinning can of Heinz Baked Beans searching for the price sticker – their fingers in overdrive as prices are manually punched into the tills. That relentless beeping sound as each and every numeral is typed into the till. Prices of some items not in whole numbers… 37 and a half pence, 12 and a half pence, 22 and a half pence… The end: your receipt listing only the prices of the items you’ve purchased – no mention of the name of the items – good luck in trying to link items to price!
Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, money was not always in whole numbers, and more importantly, barcodes and itemised receipts have not always been with us. Watch the BBC video below and reminisce, or be enlightened.