SPRAYER COLLECTION NUMBER -
Manufacturer - John and Richard Read
35 Regent Circus, Piccadilly, London
John Read (1760-1847) was a gardener in Horsmonden Kent. In 1819 he invented a syringe with a fast fill valve controlled by ball valve. This could be used for watering plants and also for administering enemas. He also invented a self supplying sprayer, which had a air reservoir, and various other barrow sprayers. He is most famous for the invention of the ball valve controlled stomach pump. Apparently he got the idea from seeing a cannonball being used in a valve in a ships pump.
He was succeeded by his son Richard (1802 to 1887) in 1847, and there are entries for him in the Great Exhibition of 1851 and for the London Exhibition of 1862. The 1862 entry includes a picture of 4 types of sprayer. John and Richard are in the census for 1841 and Richard in the census for 1851,1861 and 1871 - in all cases still as a surgical instrument maker. In 1881 Richard is shown as a retired surgical instrument maker. Richard moved to Kingston Upon Thames sometime after 1851, but it is not known if the business remained in London. As far as I can tell the syringes were made in copper or brass.