Depending upon your definition: the first Airbrush was patented in 1876 by Francis Edgar Stanley of Newton, Massachusetts. The first instrument to be named the "paint distributor" was developed by Abner Peeler "for the painting of watercolors and other artistic purposes" and used a hand-operated compressor. It was rather crude, being based on a number of spare parts in a jeweler’s workshop such as old screwdrivers and welding torches. It took 4 years of further development before a working prototype was developed by Liberty Walkup of Mt. Morris, Illinois. Since then Airbrushing has taken off in popularity.
Delta Art has Airbrushes in styles and price ranges to suit amateur to professionals.