when was the paper shredder invented

It’s a common question that many people don’t have the answer to. The first paper shredder arrived in New York, way back in 1909. However, most people don’t know this. Though the humble paper shredder is something that many of us have in our homes and offices today, we don’t always think about the people responsible for creating the devices we rely on every day.

When was the paper shredder invented? If you’ve ever wondered about it, and why the shredder was invented in the first place, you’re in the right place. Here’s your guide to everyone’s favourite tool for document destruction.

Before There Was a Shredder

hand holding shreded documents For as long as we’ve recorded information on paper, there’s been a consistent need for something that could destroy our waste paper and keep information safe. Paper shredders are a huge part of many safety and security strategies today in government agencies, businesses, and homes.

Before the history of the paper shredder began, documents were destroyed often by hand. People had to shred paper or burn it themselves to prevent sensitive information from leaking out of organizations. During times of war, there were even institutions that destroyed huge numbers of books, papers, and documents.

Who Invented Shredding?

The very first “shredding system” seems to have come from New York, and a man called Abbot Augustus Low. Abbot Augustus was a man who made a device in 1909 that he referred to as a waste paper receptacle. He filed a patent for his new paper shredding machines, but the product wasn’t manufactured.

The Evolution of the Paper Shredding Device

Hand Crank Device

Paper shredders have come a long way over the years. After the initial creation of a shredder patent in 1909, a man named Adolf Ehinger manufactured something that he called a pasta maker in Germany. However, the hand crank device could also be a useful way to shred information and documents during the war.

Electric Motor Machine

Adolf Ehinger eventually converted the hand-powered device with the use of an electric motor for the machine. The paper shredders were then advertised to local company owners and government groups.

Cross-cut Shredder

In 1959, the same organization created by Adolf Ehinger was also responsible for creating a machine for cross-cut shredding. These cross-cut shredders became extremely popular for those worried about privacy concerns.

It was quite unusual for smaller companies and individuals to use a shredder until the middle of the 1980s. Shredders were mostly relied on throughout history for companies and financial agencies, as well as governments. However, shredders did start becoming more popular among everyday citizens over time.

Shredding Patterns

Single Direction Shredding

The early machines in history were only capable of cutting in a single direction. This meant that it was quite easy to put a piece of paper back together if a document was shredded accidentally.

Cross-cut Shredding

The most common devices today use cross-cutting. A company with a cross shredding machine can easily ensure that a piece of paper can never be read.

What is the Point of Shredding Paper?

Today, it’s easy to see the benefits of a machine like a paper shredder. We rely on shredders to get rid of paper pages, bank statements, and other material that we don’t want anyone to lay their hands or eyes on. However, the invention of the paper shredder wasn’t a huge success straight away. Not everyone could see the point of owning particle cutters for dealing with documents.

As privacy concerns continued to evolve, the paper shredding invention became a common part of most company offices. Shredding machines spread all over the world, with countries everywhere investing in this technology.

Today, we know that shredding documents is an excellent way to maintain privacy and protect our personal information. Shredding essential documents that contain sensitive data can help to protect people from identity theft, and reduce the risk of other attacks. Shredding paper also makes it easier to recycle the documents that would otherwise be simply thrown away when they weren’t needed any more. Companies can now use shredding machines to turn papers into recyclable products that they can use to contribute to protecting the earth.

A Shred of History

When was the paper shredder invented? It is a simple question to answer since it is easy to track the developments into the invention that it is today. Found in most offices across the world, it is a handy device, it has come a long way since the 1900s! We’ve even learned how to deal with paper jams and how to maintain shredders to make them last a long time.

Do you have a paper shredder in your home? If not, are you planning to buy one?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *