Evolution of the spray gun

A successful bodyshop simply wouldn’t function without the spray gun – a tool which has been around since the 1800s and has continued to evolve to make the painter’s job easier and cleaner. 1887 was the year that a painter named Joseph Binks invented the spray gun in its rawest form. Employed as a maintenance manager at Marshall Field’s (later becoming Macy’s) in Chicago, Binks and his team were tasked with whitewashing all the walls in the aftermath of the Great Chicago Fire. Armed only with brushes, he had the idea of a spray dispenser to make big jobs easier.

The original design was a hand-operated pump featuring a spray nozzle and a pressurised container for the paint, which saved Binks’ team an incredible amount of time.

In 1888, Dr Allen DeVilbiss – while searching for a solution to the common sore throat – combined an oil can, a bulb, and tubing to create the first atomiser developed for health care. Atomisers utilise compressed air, giving momentum to and dispersing paint into small droplets. In 1907, his son Thomas took his father’s design and adapted it to create the first hand-held, air-powered gun for spray painting.

To read more, visit bodyshop’s November issue.