Back to the "Airbrush History" main page. - Airbrush history from The Airbrush Museum featuring Paasche, Wold, Walkup, Iwata, Aerograph, Badger,  and  more! Graphic created using Adobe Illustrator.

Airbrush history from The Airbrush Museum featuring Paasche, Wold, Walkup, Iwata, Aerograph, Badger,  and  more! Graphic created using Adobe Illustrator; the font is "Candy." NEXT - The Inventor - F.E. Stanley creates the first airbrush. - Airbrush history from The Airbrush Museum featuring Paasche, Wold, Walkup, Iwata, Aerograph, Badger,  and  more! Graphic created using Adobe Illustrator.
AIRBRUSH HISTORY: TIMELINE

1876  - F.E. Stanley of "Stanley Steamer" fame, patents the  first airbrush. It is never marketed.

1879  - Abner Peeler of Webster City, Iowa creates the first oscillating needle airbrush. He calls it a "paint distributer".

1881  - Liberty & Charles Walkup of Rockford, Illinois buy Peelers "paint distributer" airbrush patent for $700. They later pay him another $150 for 2 further refinements.

1882  - Peeler's patent for the "paint distributer" is granted on April 25th with Liberty and Charles as assignees(owners).

1882  - Liberty Walkup applies for a patent on an improved version using Peeler's new "walking bar." It's granted on September 18, 1883.

1883  - Walkup applies for a patent on a further improved version, It's granted on May 6, 1884. This version moves the "wind-wheel" inside the body. It also introduces "double action," meaning that the air and paint mixture are controlled by a single trigger. Depress the trigger to get air and pull it back to adjust the paint flow meaning it could be operated with one hand. (Hot Stuff!) The previous model had two separate controls to adjust the air and paint thus requiring two handed operation.

1883  - The Walkups form "The Rockford Manufacturing Co." to produce the new "Air Brush." Within 6 months the name is changed to "The Airbrush Manufacturing Company".

1886  - Liberty Walkup with wife Phoebe form the Illinois Art School. Classes specializing in airbrush techniques as well as other art classes are taught.

1889  - Charles L. Burdick, of Madison, Wisconsin files a patent on his first (?) airbrush on April 15th, it's granted on August 12, 1890. It's external mix design leaves a lot to be desired but it does establish two things. The airbrush now blows the paint forward rather than down, and the body has a smaller symmetrical (hexagonal) cross section relative to Walkup's bulky rectangular one.

1891  - Burdick invents the revolutionary internal mix airbrush. The paint and air are mixed inside the airbrush giving it much better spray characteristics. The airbrush is round and the trigger is operated by the index finger rather than the thumb.

1891  - Thayer & Chandler begin to manufacture the internal mix airbrush. An agreement with Burdick keeps them out of Europe.

1893  - Thayer & Chandler exhibit the new internal mix airbrush at the Columbian Exposition/ World's Fair of 1893 and are given an award. Walkup, also exhibiting goes home empty handed and very unhappy. The handwriting is on the wall.

1893  - Burdick moves to London, England and forms the Fountain Brush Company in London, England to manufacture his airbrush the "Aerograph".

1895  - On April Fool's day, Olaus C. Wold, foreman for Thayer & Chandler, files a patent for refined internal mix airbrush. it's granted on March 3, 1896 and is assigned to(owned by) T&C. It features a simplified trigger/needle mechanism that is attached to a valve to control the air, previous models pinched a rubber tube to vary the air. It also has a removable/replaceable tip and the paint is no longer in the handle "fount" but is added to a trough around the trigger. The basic configuration of the modern airbrush has arrived! (Halleluiah and pass the paint!)

1899  - O. C. Wold, leaves Thayer & Chandler and founds the Wold Airbrush Company.

1900  - Burdick changes the name of his company to the Aerograph Company, Ltd., to better reflect the his product, the "Aerograph".

1904  - Jens A. Paasche, ex-employee of Wold and Thayer & Chandler, creates the Paasche Airbrush Company. His first airbrush is the direct forefather of today's Paasche AB.

1917  - Man Ray (1890-1977) begins use of the airbrush in his art & photography.

1963  - Badger Airbrush Co. formed in Chicago.

1980  - Wold Airbrush Co. goes out of business.

1998  - Thayer & Chandler shut their doors.

2000  - Badger Airbrush Co. buys Thayer & Chandler.

2004  - Paasche Airbrush Co. celebrates it's 100th anniversary.

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