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Shredding is for More than Just Paper

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A laptop with a portalbe hard drive, CD/DVD, SSD cards, and a USB drive on its keyboardHistory of Shredding

Since the inception of shredding, the primary purpose of a shredder has been to destroy paper documents quickly and conveniently, making the information unreadable. That same basic purpose exists today, although shredding equipment has improved and legal requirements for information destruction have become more advanced.


The first shredder was created by Adolf Ehinger in Germany. He needed a way to destroy the anti-Nazi propaganda he was producing to prevent it from falling into the hands of the authorities. He later patented his shredder and began selling it to government agencies and financial institutions; first with hand-crank operation and later, upgraded to electric motor operation.


Ehinger’s company manufactured the first cross-cut paper shredder, making it more difficult to read the shredded paper.


During the takeover of the US embassy in Iran, US officials attempted to destroy paper documents by shredding them into strips. This proved to be ineffective, as the Iranians enlisted local carpet weavers to reconstruct the pieces by hand and were able to read the information the US had tried to hide.


The need for paper shredders increased, extending beyond government agencies and becoming more common among businesses and individuals.


Sales for Schleicher shredders increased 20% when Oliver North testified in Congress that he used their cross-cut shredder to shred Iran-Contra documents.

1990s – 2000s

Shredder usage experienced a dramatic increase with the enactment of information privacy laws such as FACTA, HIPAA, and GLBA. Businesses and individuals took steps to securely dispose of confidential information.

Paper vs. Information

Remember the original purpose of the shredder? It wasn’t to destroy just paper, but to destroy information. This purpose remains unchanged today, prompting professional shredding companies to offer services for more than just paper. Confidential information exists in other forms, such as electronic media, and must be securely destroyed using a hard drive shredding service to comply with state and federal privacy laws. In addition to paper documents and products, industrial shredders are designed to destroy:

  • Hard drives
  • SSDs
  • CDs/DVDs/Blu-rays
  • Floppy disks
  • Computer equipment
  • Film
  • Microfilm and microfiche
  • Videotapes
  • X-rays

For convenience and security, choose a professional shredding company that shreds paper and other items that contain information all under one roof.

Wiggins Shredding has state-of-the art trucks that come directly to your business to destroy your electronics and devices. We provide a Certificate of Destruction when destruction is complete. To book your shredding service or inquire further, call us at 610-692-TEAR (8327) or complete the form on this page.

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Wiggins Shredding, Inc.
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