A Brief History of HVLP Spray Gun

Before the early inventions of spray guns, brushes and rollers were used widely in painting fields all over the world, especially in the United States.

The painters whitewashed buildings, metals, furniture, early horseless carriages, and horse-drawn wagons using a brush. They had to complete their job in a long time

The use of spray guns was introduced in the 19th century. This article will give you a brief history of the HVLP spray gun and when was the paint sprayer invented.

The history of the spray gun and particularly the HVLP sprayer is one of the smart innovations.


When the man started decorating his home, walls, vehicles, furniture, etc. to satisfy his aesthetic sense, he used a very simple method for executing his job.


He didn’t know a lot about this field. But there is a common saying “Necessity is the mother of inventions” which was truly applied in introducing the spray guns.

But before moving toward the brief history of the HVLP sprayer, it is necessary to know the early experiments made on the spray guns.

First Phase of Experiments

In 1887, there was a Marshall Field’s Department store in Chicago where Joseph Binks was a maintenance supervisor.

The store had long basement walls which were whitewashed regularly. Binks deputed a crew with brushes and buckets for the work. He knew that they wouldn’t be able to finish the job for some weeks.

Upon the request of his crew, he made an experiment to speed up the task. At first, he faced frustrations but soon he got an idea.

He combined a hand-operated pump, a rod with a nozzle on the end, and a pot to hold the liquid under pressure.

Then he strained the whitewash from the tank, used a hand pump to make pressure, and pushed the whitewash from the end of the rod. His idea worked like magic and he completed his work soon.

In 1893, there was held Colombian Exposition in Chicago, an event at World’s Fair. Many people came to see this show of technology.

He demoed his project in front of those people. Before opening this show, Binks had whitewashed many houses in the locality with this Spraying Machine and sparkled the walls of the store.

His work was admired widely and there was a heading in the press “The White City”.

Second Phase of Experiments

In 1888, an ENT doctor, Dr. Allen DeVillbiss was searching for a better way to treat sore throat. The liquid medication was not much helpful even Pills and tablets didn’t work well.

Dr. DeVillbiss tried to make a sprayer using a tube, a container base, and a rubber bulb. He created the first atomizer to push droplets of medicine into the throat.

He also used the bottom part of an oil can. When he compressed the bulb, the air passed through the tube. The molecules of liquid medicine reached the target area.

Third Phase of Experiments

Years later, Thomas, Dr. Allen’s son, improved the ideas of his father. He introduced a first-hand spray gun.

First of all, the furniture makers applied this invention and completed their work in a short time. The concept of nozzles was also introduced around this period.

The Twentieth Century Developments

This technology was used in the automotive industry in 1920. Before this invention, the painters painted cars with brushes but now they started using the spray gun and completed their work in a few days.

In 1940, there was a tremendous increase in the sale of spray guns motivated more manufacturing.  In 1960, electric spray guns were introduced and became popular.

History of HVLP Paint Sprayer

After getting the required basic information about spray guns, you can now surely understand the Spray gun parts and functions. So let’s enhance your knowledge to study a brief history of HVLP paint sprayers.

In 1980, spray guns became extremely popular. But there was a problem of air pollution. So to tackle this alarming issue, the HVLP spray guns were introduced and used extensively.

The HLVP spray guns helped a lot to decrease the effect of smog. These guns also helped painters minimize the cost and quantity of materials as HVLP didn’t waste paint in the surrounding air.

The HVLP spray guns also enhanced the efficiency and quality of the surface.  It was much easier and quicker to atomize paint with HVLP. The same principle worked with Siphon Feed HVLP, Pressure Feed HVLP, and Gravity Feed HVLP.

In the beginning, there were two companies; Sicmo (Monaco) and Apollo (England) that built the first low-pressure spray guns. The Sicmo spray gun is still in use without any remarkable changes.

But the Apollo sprayers which were first started in 1966 in England and later in 1981 were the foremost manufacturer of HVLP spray equipment, in North America.

With the passage of time, some HVLP makers have vanished. The names of those HVLP manufacturers, are Spray fine, Cap spray, Am spray, Croix, Titan, and even Sicmo.

Cap spray, Am spray, and Titan are now allied with Wagner but Croix is a branch of Graco.

Here is a video tutorial on HVLP Spray gun that you may like;


Binks and DeVilbiss are the inventors of spray guns. Many other scientists and researchers in Europe and Asia also did a great job. That’s why today in the market there are many types and designs of spray guns.

Countless amazing additions are made to the planning, functions, and operation of spray guns and much more is expected in the future.


Hi, Cristopher here. I have been working in the home improvement industry for the past 15 years, and I have developed strong expertise in spray guns and paint sprayers. I have a deep understanding of how these tools work and how to get the best results from them. In addition to my practical knowledge, I am also running this website dedicated to sharing tips and tricks for using spray guns and paint sprayers.

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