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The History of Paasche Airbrush

Jens working on airbrushes in 1910.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 Wold 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.

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 their factory to this day.

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 Heights, Illinois.  Harwood Heights is a northern suburb of Chicago.  The company moved back to Chicago in 2005 where we stayed until our most recent move to Wisconsin in 2019.   We are now located in Kenosha, Wisconsin 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.

Group photo of Paasche Airbrush team.

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