Founded in 1917, Fellowes began its history in file storage systems. Harry L. Fellowes bought a fledgling box business from an acquaintance, Walter Nickel, who was called up during World War I. Purchased for just $50.00, the company manufactured and sold a corrugated filing box designed for bank records. With a newly passed amendment instituting a federal income tax, records retention became a necessity. The timing was excellent for a strong and affordable source for records keeping.
Soon after the war, Walter Nickel rejoined Harry. In a patriotic tribute, they named their product the Liberty Box which soon became popular with a variety of businesses. As the product lines expanded to meet the demands of office environments over the next 60 years, the boxes turned into entire systems of efficient records management. The famous Bankers Box became the trademark file storage system across the American business landscape.
The Information Age spurred a new period of growth for Fellowes®. In the hands of John Fellowes, and later his sons, James and Peter, the company continued its tradition of innovation. By envisioning the computer as the center of individual workstations in the early 80's, Fellowes created an entire range of products for the office workstation that helped people manage increasing amounts of information. As technology moved into mobile devices like laptop computers, cell phones and PDAs, Fellowes developed innovative products to facilitate their use.
In 1982, Fellowes entered into a licensing agreement with a German company to distribute commercial shredders in the United States. Based on the outstanding success of this venture, Fellowes designed and manufactured its own product, introducing the first line of personal shredders in 1990. No one could have predicted the response to this new product, and almost overnight the company had a strong consumer product that complemented its established commercial business.
As identity theft became a serious threat to consumers and businesses alike, much of the focus shifted to electronic media to defend against identity crimes. Fellowes, however, had the vision to see that the effective disposal of sensitive documents was crucial to identity protection. In fact, by 2008, 49% of companies affected by a data breach state one or more of the breaches involved the loss or theft of paper documents. Fellowes continued to develop improved and more efficient shredder technology, streamlining performance, effectiveness and durability well into the next millennium.
Today, the workplace has blended into everyday life. Shifting seamlessly from office, to home to hand-held technology. Envisioning the future, Fellowes has begun creating exciting new solutions for mobile technology and tablet users with the Body Glove® and Domeo® brands, develop more comfortable and healthy home office solutions with I-Spire, design new and innovative Bankers Box products for home organization, address the issue of home indoor air quality with AeraMax air purifiers, as well continue to improve and create better technology and products for the workplace.