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The History of Spray Paint

While we know aerosolized spray paint was invented in the Chicago suburbs in the mid-1900s, the origin of spray painting itself is less clear. One account holds that this method of painting was first invented in 1887 when a painter named Joseph Binks combined a hand-operated pump, a vessel to hold the paint under pressure, and a wand with a nozzle on the end in order to help speed up the task of painting the basement of Marshall Field’s Department store in Chicago. Another account claims it originated with the Southern Railway. Yet another account attributes spray painting to Mr. T.G. Turner of New York City. We may never know for sure. But we do know that Ed Seymour of Sycamore, Illinois created the first aerosolized spray paint can. He was searching for a way to demonstrate his aluminum coating for painting radiators when his wife suggested a makeshift spray gun. In 1949, Seymour mixed paint and aerosol in a can with a spray head, effectively creating the first spray paint can and making this unique method of painting portable.

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