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paper shredder facts

4 Surprising Paper Shredding Facts

March 21, 2016


Most of us don’t give a second thought to the office shredder. It’s there, it’s boring to sit there a feed it paper for any length of time and it’s a real pain when you stuff in too many documents, or something the shredder isn’t designed to destroy. That’s it. That’s what the paper shredder means to the vast majority of us.

Mechanical paper shredding is a relatively recent invention, being just over 100 years old. But it has a surprisingly colourful past, considering it’s been around for less time than electric light bulbs, cars and airplanes.

1. First Patent and First Machine

While a patent was granted in the U.S. to Augustus Lowe in 1909, he never built the machine. It wasn’t until decades later, when German engineer Adolf Ehinger needed a quick way to get rid of lots of anti-Nazi propaganda following Hitler’s rise to power, that a paper shredding machine was built. It was cranked by hand.

2. Into the Spotlight

Shredders remained mostly the domain of government and financial institutions until the early 1970s when Richard Nixon added to his notoriety by shredding massive quantities of documents as part of the Watergate scandal cover-up.

3. A “Revolution” in the Business

While Nixon thrust shredders into the spotlight, it was Iran revolutionaries who caused them to evolve. They meticulously put back together shredded documents from the U.S. Embassy to get the secret information they contained. After that, cross-cut shredding became the industry standard and more industry compliances for secure data destruction began to be created.

4. Your Discarded Paper is Public Property

In 2009, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that a person’s garbage may be searched without a warrant, even if the garbage is on private property, but easily accessed from a public place, like a sidewalk, alleyway or street. In other words, any paper that you throw out without being properly shredded can be picked up and used by anyone.

Protect Your Identity and Business: there’s only one way to avoid your sensitive personal and corporate information being exposed publicly and that’s through safe and secure shredding.

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