PAASCHE Airbrush – Big Name in Airbrush History

Airbrush history of the 20th century starts with name PAASCHE.

The gunsmith Jens Andreas Paasche emigrated from Norway in 1900. For a while he worked for Thayer and Chandler but then left them and in 1904 started his own airbrush company. Same way as Olaus S. Wold who has left “Thayler and Chandler” too and called his company Wold Airbrush Company“, Paasche gave his company name “Paasche Airbrush Company”.

To become successful Jens worked 20 hours a day almost 24 years trying to make his airbrushes the best. Tweet This!

1905 – Paasche First Airbrush Patent

First Paasche’s airbrush was patented in 1905. The grandfather of legendary Paasche AB Turbo (actually, Paasche has made some modernization and miniaturization for Walkup design to create this airbrush).

1907 Another Paasche AB Airbrush

This airbrush had the side mounted trigger and the horizontal orientation of the Peeler/Walkup designs. The body had dual tube design.

The needle sits deeper in the paint cup and makes it easier to pick up paint. Both airbrushes (1905 and 1907) had already something in common with present day airbrushes (separate reservoir for paint and finger trigger).

1908 Single Action Airbrush “DD”

This airbrush had many configurations. Mostly the difference was in feeding. Some airbrushes were side feed, but most were bottom (siphon) feed airbrushes.

Here are some pictures of Paasche airbrush model N (seen on flyers  since 1920 till 1930). On the images below you can see something like PAT’D Feb.25.08 – it is the exact date when Paasche patented his single action DD airbrush)

On the 19th of January 1915 “Paasche Airbrush Company” has patented some new, positive modification of their airbrush and at the same time the company published their first airbrush catalog. It was 48 pages brochure called “Paasche Air Brush Catalog“.

Only 28 of these pages are available and you can download this book here.

After this one company publishes their catalogs on a few years basis (1923, 1926, 1929, 1932, 1938, 1939, 1942, …)

Two Paasche bulletins from 1929 and 1930 are still in museum of airbrush in Chicago.

Note: On Bulletins it says “Established 1905” :) this is strange, as everybody says 1904.

Exactly at that time Jens Paasche patented Airbrush Air Eraser. It atomizes a thin layer of abrasive powder for removal or lightening of image. The main function of this tool was the correction of already finished paintings.

In 50s and 60s all the airbrushes were able to change the position of needle by simple trigger movement. At that time Paasche produces Double Action Airbrush (D-D). The paint flow is regulated by trigger already (Model H had manually regulated paint flow by screwing the nozzle tip). On the picture bellow Model H and D-D side by side.

I could go into details, but I’m not going to. Maybe later I’ll write something more. I just wanted you to know how it started and especially to mention the name Jens Andreas Paasche. If you want to know more, I would recommend to check airbrush museum website and especially airbrush patents page where you can see all the patents. Generally, Paasche Airbrush Company has made huge improvements to the airbrush concept and its development.

Not so long ago, in 2004, Paasche Airbrush Company has celebrated 100 years anniversary (impressive) and it still holds their positions on airbrush market.

The original factory was constructed in Chicago in 1922.  It was later expanded three times.  In 1984, needing more space for the ever increasing demand for airbrushes and industrial spray equipment, the factory was relocated to Harwood Height, Illinois.  In 2005 it was moved back to Chicago.

Paasche Building 2007Paasche Airbrush is now operated by Jens A. Paasche’s grandson John Paasche Pettersen, his wife Vallie Pettersen and their twin sons Brian and Steven Pettersen.

Paasche Emplyees

Sources: airbrush museum, airbrushwiki, Andy Penaluna

If you know some interesting facts about Paasche I would appreciate if you leave at least a short comment.

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7 Comments on “PAASCHE Airbrush – Big Name in Airbrush History”

  • Hello,
    I have some vintage Paasche cup guns and such, which I would like to find out more about them.
    They have been put away for decades, and now belong to me. I would greatly appreciate any help, and I will send pictures if you e-mail me at
    The numbers are as follow…
    AU70 ×2
    I also have 2 small airbrushes in red velvet lined cases and a box with various parts and glass cups.
    Some parts are still in envelopes,
    Marked 1909-1929
    Thank you,

  • Great story … I’m an American who worked with airbrushes most of my artist life (I’m 73). In 1979 after 9 years with the Army I got an invitation to move Down Under (Australia) to teach airbrush techniques. In 1964 I bought my first airbrush a “Binks-Wren” (which I still have) for Automotive touch up as I was doing an apprenticeship as a bump and paint man … back then you could attend High School from 7:05 AM to 11:55 AM and then work at the shop four hours, although my boss let us work longer hours and weekends if we wanted. I was paid $1.05 an hour. …LOL. I went to college and never considered using an airbrush with my paintings. One teacher who did illustration work for GM, showed us his Paasche mdl H… I was hooked as he applied it doing washes over water color paintings in the sky or water without lifting any paint. I’ve done everything from fine art to catalog retouching machine parts, and even wedding photos.
    I still have 2 AB Turbos, plus a few different brands, like Olympus, and EFBE … I do love the millennium with the picker cap and the rounded trigger (which they have dropped???). Thanks again

  • Beautiful Paasche History Summary! Came here hunting the origin year date on the Paasche AB Turbo Air Gun. Nice to learn Mr. Paasche originally was working at Thayer & Chandler. My mom helped me buy an expensive Thayer & Chandler Air Gun my College Freshman Year in 1975. It was later stolen straight out of my Art building Locker. I purchased a Paasche VL Double Action Air Gun around 1978 and have used it ever since. What is your favorite Air Gun?

  • I was invited to my friend’s house this afternoon 11/23/2023 for an after Thanksgiving get together. We’ve been friends our whole lives. Our fathers grew up in the same small town together. Anyway, she married a guy from New England maybe New York) and they have been together for many years. I have never gotten to know him very well, but we talked quite a bit this afternoon and I mentioned that I have been an airbrush artist for about 40 years. He proceeded to tell that his great-great uncle was Jens Andreas Paasche!! I kinda freaked out. It was cool.

  • Gail Glasier 928 715- 8805 has a model A Paasche with a receipt from 1941.

  • Gail here again; correction on 1st post : I have a model B Paasche . The receipt has a signature of the artist that bought it from A. I. Friedman Artist and Draftsman Supplies. 43 West 47th st. New York. N.Y. Telephone ,Bryant 9- 4909. Artist name is; Pierre Mardrus his address is on next line as, 70 Paganr ( or is that an ‘e’ ?) Ave. There are a few drawings and one ink work pieces of art listed for sale by Peirre , and the signatures are the same on receipt as on art ! It says he lived most of his life in California. I acquired the airbrush in about 1980ish in Laguna Beach .I used it a little until I bought an Aztec airbrush.