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The History of Paper Shredding Machines


Shredding documents used to be something that was done only by large, multi-national corporations; however, with the development of paper shredding technology, more and more small companies and homes are beginning to shred their documents too. Technology of shredding machines has allowed them to be made smaller, more efficient, and substantially cheaper to buy. When most people look at, or think about, shredding machines, they don't see a history of change and innovation. These machines look and feel like they were created in this century, but the first paper shredding machines dates back to the early 1900s.

In 1909 the United Stated of America issued the first patent for a paper shredder. This was given to the company Abbot Augustus Low. Although the machine served the basic functions of paper shredding, it was actually called a waste paper receptacle. It was created to try and improve on ways to dispose of paper. The patent was issued on the 31st of August, and the patent number is 929,960. Despite the fact that Abbot had the patent, the machine was never produced. Some critics claim that the machine was never produced on a mass scale because there wasn't any practical application at the time. Some time had passed without much development on Abbot's design. In 1935, a man by the name of Adolf Ehinge made improvements to Abbot's original design. His design was similar to that of a pasta maker. Old pasta makers used a hand crank to turn metal that shreds flat pasta. This hand crank device began to pick up in popularity, but it wasn't until the 1950 when the first electric machine was made. Once the machine gained popularity with businesses in the early 60s, technology for the machines quickly changed. More and more, people were considering the benefits of shredding paper and wanted to implement paper-shredding practices at their office.

In the 50s and 60s there were little to no regulations on how shredded paper was discarded. In 2014 there are federal regulations that monitor and maintain best practices for how this information is properly disposed of. There is the HIPAA and FACTA. As the digital age takes hold, these organization become much more important. People are using the web to do banking and business. This creates a paper trail for people, and companies must handle that paper properly or your identity could potentially get stolen.

Paper shredding has come a long way in the last hundred plus years.

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