The History of Atomizers


An atomizer is any device or receptacle that is capable of holding liquid and dispensing it in a fine mist. Atomizers have many uses in many different industries. Atomizers can be used to mist plants, applying cooking oil to food or cookware, spray a fine mist of perfume or dispense medicine.


In 1888, Toledo's Dr. Allen DeVilbiss developed an atomizer. DeVilbiss used the atomizer to spray a small dose of medicine down the throats of his patients. Later on, the atomizer was repurposed as a spray finisher. In the early 1900s, atomizers began to be used to hold perfume.


By the time of World War I, many G.I.'s who were returning home from France through Paris picked up perfumes in atomizer bottles for their sweethearts and wives back home. Today, nearly all liquid perfumes are sold in some sort of atomizer. Decades ago, it was more common to see perfume atomizers with a bulb attached to a cord to pump the perfume through the mister. These days, few perfumes are sold in such receptacles. This is because pressurized atomizers with a bulb are more costly to make, and can become useless is the soft rubber of the pumping bulb is damaged.


Atomizers are used to dispense perfume, cleaning products, pharmaceuticals, cooking oils and water for plants. Atomizers can take any form, as long as the receptacle can dispense a small amount of liquid in a fine mist. Some examples of atomizers include perfume bottles, aerosol cans, cleaning supply squirt bottles and inhalers.

Collector's Items

Vintage perfume atomizers are sought after by collectors, as well as by modern women looking to evoke the glamor of a bygone era. Many of the most prized vessels were made in Europe, in Paris, Milan or the Czech Republic. Of even more value are vintage atomizers that contain discontinued scents.

Other Applications

Atomizers are used as nebulizers in the medical field. Atomizing mechanisms also play a crucial role in atomic spectostopy and internal combustion engines.


Over the years, workers in many professions have come to realize that atomizers have many benefits over other methods of dispensing liquids. For example, atomizers can be used to emit just the tiniest amount of a liquid, which minimizes waste. This makes them perfect for dispensing strong, expensive perfumes. In addition, manufacturers can modify the simple concept to produce an atomizer that is perfectly suited for any industrial need. Best of all, atomizers are sanitary. Many industrial atomizers lack reservoirs or catchments where harmful molds and bacteria can lurk.

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