Who Created The First Paper Shredder? Asks Office Zone

Who Created The First Paper Shredder? Asks Office Zone

Documents have been shredded in the United States for decades. Ever since the Egyptians created papyrus in 4000 B.C., there has been a need to destroy documents. When a mistake was made or information needed to be destroyed, the papyrus could be easily torn up or burned. Things have changed a lot since then.

The first mechanical shredder was created in 1935 in Germany. Adolf Ehinger used standard kitchen tools to create a device that would make paper unreadable. His inspiration for creating a paper shredder was to help him get rid of anti-Nazi material. After being confronted by Nazi soldiers about literature in his garbage can, he decided he needed to find a better way to destroy it.

Adolf’s biggest inspiration for his paper shredder was a hand-cranked pasta maker. Using the same concept, he created a mechanical device that sat in a wood frame. He later fit it with an electric motor. People thought his device was pointless. During the 1940s he began selling his invention to various government entities and embassies.

Due to the Cold War, Adolf’s invention became more popular. In 1959 he created the first cross-cut paper shredder. Cross cut paper shredders cut paper in multiple directions, making it even harder to decipher the shredded material. Strip cut paper shredders, which typically create ¼-inch strips of paper, are not as secure. During that period of time, shredders were typically only used by the government.

Shredders have played an important role in history, being associated with cover-ups. The Nixon re-election committee used a Fellowes paper shredder during Watergate. Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North used an Intimus 007-S shredder to shred documents during the Iran-Contra scandal.

Cross-cut shredders grew in popularity in 1979 after the American Embassy in Tehran was overrun by Iranian militants. Documents at the embassy where only strip-cut, allowing the pieces to be pieced back together by Persian carpet weavers. Due to the Iran incident, the government now requires strict shredding conditions.

Today, shredders are used in almost all business environments. New laws require that just about everything be shredded. Shredders can now be found in homes, businesses, educational institutions and more. Shredders are now created to not only shred paper, but some can also shred DVDs, CDs, floppy disks and more. You can see a wide variety of paper shredders used today by visiting Office Zone.

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