The first nebulizer was invented in France by Dr. Sales-Girons in 1858. His nebulizer employed a bicycle pump-like pedal that used air pressure to draw liquid through a tube to an atomizer chamber, creating a mist that a patient could inhale.
The first steam-powered nebulizer was invented in Germany by Dr. Siegle in 1864. His device, known as Siegle’s steam spray inhaler, involved boiling water over a burner and allowing the steam to rise into a tube containing a pharmaceutical solution of medicine. As it passed through this chamber, the steam drew the medicine into vapor that the patient could inhale through a glass mouthpiece attached to the machine.