Vintage Garden Syringe Sprayers    

Back Self Supplying Sprayers Single Action

These sprayers are designed to pump liquid from a container. A tube with a filter/strainer goes into the container. The sprayers then pumps this through the nozzle. There are three  basic types. Single action which spray only on the push stroke, double action which spray on both the push and pull stroke, and continuous action sprayers which use air compressed during use to power the sprayer.   

Double Action

They spray on both the forward and the back stroke. This gives them an advantage when spraying limewash, creosote etc. as a more even finish is possible. They could be connected to a portable ‘knapsack’ type metal container to make a portable spraying unit. The main body consist of two tubes, one which fits inside the other. The supply pipe fits on the back end of the outer (larger) tube and there is a lance and nozzle fitted to the front end of the inner (smaller) tube.  The end of the supply pipe has a filter and a bucket clip  may be provided to hold the hose in place. There are  grips on the two tubes allowing the inner tube to be pushed into/pulled out of the outer tube. The seal between the tubes uses a single forward facing cup washer. This washer together with a valve is fitted to the back end of the innermost of the tubes. This valve together with the  hose valve controls the flow. The hose valve is sometimes at the top of the hose where it joins the larger tube and not at the end of the tube with the filter. The push stroke (increasing the distance between the handles) sucks liquid into the larger tube and at the same time expels some of the liquid through the lance and out through the nozzle. The pull stroke expels more of the liquid, but does not suck in any from the container. Although giving a more or less continuous spray the overall application rate is not any different to that of the self supplying sprayers. Click for an explanation of how double action continuous sprayers work.              


Solo Sprayers Ltd made (and still supply) a number of models , but they were also made by other manufacturers .

Trapped air in the barrel is compressed as the sprayers is used and this provides continuous spraying. Compressing air in this way is a feature of many mounted and stirrup pump sprayers. The  difficulty with hand held  sprayers is that air can be lost when the sprayer is pointed downwards. W.T.French and Sons have a patent (GB267417) dated 17 March 1927  for a hand held design which overcomes these problems. The Mysto Gem sprayer (left top) is manufactured in line with the patent. It employs a number of design features which allow it to be used at any angle.   A variation on this is the type which uses a large spring to provide the pressure.

Continuous Action - With Air or Spring Compression (Continuous  Action )

Within this category are three types of sprayer  (click on the type to see more detail)  

Rear Supply Connection. (Plunger rod  type) The supply pipe connection on these is towards  the back (handle end ) of the barrel. There is a valve on the end of the plunger rod by the piston which  allows the liquid to flow from one side of the piston to the other when the plunger is pulled back. These usually have two additional valves, one at the front before the nozzle and the other with the filter at the end of the supply tube or where the supply tube joins the barrel. (See also Plastic Self Supplying Sprayers)  

Rear Supply Connection.  (Two barrel type)  These have two barrels one which fits inside the other in a similar arrangement to Double Action sprayers . The sprayers is worked by moving the inner barrel backwards and forwards within the outer barrel.  The supply pipe connection on these is on the end of the larger (external barrel).

Front Supply Connection.  In this type the connection for the supply pipe is near the front end of the barrel . The plunger rod only extends  to this point. There is a valve where the supply pipe connects and also one the font of the barrel.  This  arrangement is not as complicated as the other type, but sprays less on each stroke.

Large spring in a Cooper Peglar .