The History of Paasche Airbrush
Jens Andreas Paasche started Paasche Airbrush Company back in 1904. Jens Paasche was born on February 27, 1880, the youngest and a twin, of a wonderful family of six boys and four girls. After grammer school in Trondheim, Norway, he entered into a gunsmith apprenticeship with Kalseth Gunworks or Trondheim at the age of 14 from 1894 to 1898. He left Kalseth Gunworks in 1898 to work at Kongsberg Gunworks assembling Krag-Jorgensen guns and other weaponry.
At the age of 20 Jens Paasche left Norway for America aboard the S.S. Teutonic. He arrived in New York harbor on August 6, 1900. Settling in Chicago Jens began the self education of his inventive genius which would eventually establish him prominently in the air painting industry.
In 1904 he aquired half interest in a partnership of World Air Brush Manufacturing Co. Being driven by his determination and desire to make a product that would surpass any other and be the pinnacle of craftsmanship and quality, he founded Paasche Brothers in 1904. Jens sold his product by day and made them at night. Always looking for a better way, a more effecient and less costly product, he aquired over 80 patents. In 1906 he bought his brothers' interest and started Paasche Airbrush Company. The final transition took place on May 20, 1916 when Paasche Airbrush Company was incorporated.
We should remember that the theory of the airbrush is akin to that of the automobile carburetor which atomizes gasoline. In fact, Mr. Paasche held a patent on a carburetor, but was more interested in the airbrush and never pursued the other as a money making proposition.
Mr. Paasche's alert thinking and limitless optimism aroused the admiration of everyone with whom he came in contact. To his way of thinking, life is an adventure too fantastic to be touched by pessimism and too challenging from which to retire. Forever an optimist "each day was his best day". He was the epitome of a gentleman, never raising his voice, never using profanity and a true American patriot in every sense of the word. Yet he never forgot his place of birth and was knighted by the King of Norway for his philanthropic church activities there. Mr. Paasche's friends included practically everyone associated with airbrushing including luminaries such as Vargas and Petty and many Hollywood illustrators and animators.
Paasche airbrushes such as the VL, H and VJR have been widely copied but not the AB. The latter for use by only the most accomplished airbrusher.
Paasche Airbrush Company continues the legacy left by its founder Jens A. Paasche with the ultimate in quality control. Continuing his insistence that every airbrush be inspected prior to shipment, they are manufactured and assembled at the factory in Chicago, Illinois.
The original factory was constructed in Chicago in 1922. It was subsequently 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. Harwood Heights is a northern suburb of Chicago. We moved back to Chicago in 2005 and that is where we are currently manufacturing and assembling our line of airbrushes and industrial spray paint equipment.
Paasche Airbrush is currently operated by Jens A. Paasche's grandson John Paasche Pettersen, his wife Vallie Pettersen and their twin sons Brian and Steven Pettersen. Paasche Airbrush Company is proud to be an American company, proud to be accepted nationally and internationally. We celebrated our 100th year in 2004 and hope to continue the legacy left by Jens A. Paasche far into the future.