The first aerosol spray can patent was granted to the Norwegian, Erik Rotheim, in 1927. Investigations into the technology took place elsewhere and the American, Julian S. Kahn received a patent for a disposable spray can in 1939, but aerosols remained largely undeveloped. It was not until the late 1940s that aerosols took off commercially for products such as insecticides, veterinary sprays and air fresheners.
Today, aerosols are used for over 200 different types of products such as foams, mousses, gels and creams, as well as wet and dry sprays. The aerosol has proved popular as it allows the spray to be applied directly to a specific area. Aerosols have not contained CFCs since 1989, so there is no longer a problem with damage to the ozone layer.


  • Title: Aerosols
  • Type: Container and applicator
  • Rights: Robert Opie Collection

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