History of Shredding Machines

Ever wondered the history of shredding machines?



Paper Shredding Machine Timeline

4000 B.C. Egypt
The invention of papyrus sparked the need for destruction of documents. When a mistake was made on papyrus, the document was torn up manually.

1908 – New York City
Abbot Augustus Low patented the, “Waste Paper Receptacle,” the first paper-shredding machine. However, Low died before he could make more than just his first working prototype, and his invention was soon forgotten.

1935 – Germany
The first machine-run shredder was created in 1935 by Adolf Ehinger. Adolf printed anti-Nazi materials and realized he needed something to dispose of them. He was inspired by a hand cranked pasta maker, but he later created one with an electric motor.

Ehinger’s device grew increasingly popular during the 1950s due to the Cold War.

Ehinger’s company, EBA Maschinenfabrik created the first cross-cut shredder, a shredding device that takes documents and turns them into confetti.

1973 – The White House
The Watergate scandal brought shredding back to in the spotlight when Nixon shredded papers to help cover his tracks.

1979 – Iran
Iranian revolutionaries were able to confiscate papers from the American embassy in Iran and uncover sensitive intelligence. After this incident, cross-cut shredders were adapted for all government operations.

Krug & Priester purchased EBA Maschinenfabrik.

Paper shredders were typically only used by government entities.

Shredders are used in almost all business environments.