A short history of the atomizer (I)

Share on:
Image of A short history of the atomizer (I)

The history of electronic cigarettes is not that long, these devices being introduced on the market starting with 2006/2007 but their popularity has increased exponentially and it’s still growing as we speak. What makes these atomizers so attractive is the fact that they can give a very similar experience to that of smoking in matters of vapor production, throat hit and flavor, but the fact is that things haven’t been like this from the beginning.

clearomizerThe first vapers had to struggle with a lot of difficulties, since e-cigs didn’t always perform as expected and there were many problems especially concerning the atomizers and batteries. From incorrect wicking designs to clogging and leaks, the e-cigs we have today are mostly part of a trial and error approach and looking at how great today’s tanks perform, the journey of getting them to this point had to be long and with many trips back to the drawing board.

We are going to take a look at the heating element found in all of the e-cigarettes or mech mods out there, from the beginning to where they stand today, so prepare for one historical journey.

The standard atomizer was the pioneer of electronic cigarette heating elements and its principle is still applied today, but in much more advanced ways. Even though there were a few design types, they all worked in the same manner and the one that became the most popular was 510 threaded. Nowadays, the 510 threading is standard in all e-cigarettes and accessories, but it all started with vapers appreciating more this type of connection from the moment it was introduced.

These were the first electronic cigarettes, and most of them mimicked the shape and size of an actual tobacco combustible. They had a ‘3 piece design’ with the cartridge connected to the atomizer and the atomizer connected to the battery. The cartridge was stuffed with filling material (cotton or polyfill) that absorbed the e-liquid and rested on the atomizer via a bridge made from a metallic mesh. The e-liquid would slowly feed the atomizer through a wick and would be transformed into vapor. Another way the first atomizer was used is by direct dripping. Very similar to the process that involves using any of today’s RDAs, vapers would drip e-juice straight onto the bridge, connect their drip tip and enjoy e few delicious puffs.

The problems with these initial atomizers were quite a few, and the most important ones involved e-liquid getting into the air-hole in the cartridge and eventually in the user’s mouth. Another common problem was leaking, and since many vapers struggled with e-juice coming out of the bottom of their cartridge this paved the path to the ‘drip shields’ we have today.


.. to be continued ..

Posted by Dave Allan

dave profile pic
Former pack-a-day smoker, I discovered electronic cigarettes back in 2011. Since then vaping has slowly turned into my hobby and my full time job. I’ve tested hundreds of e-cigarettes and mods across the years and constantly used my knowledge and experience to help others make the switch. I’m passionate about technology, I enjoy reading and I love big flavorful clouds.


Leave a Comment