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Lj Isoaker
History of the Super Soaker

The year of 1989 began the water weaponry revolution. The origin of the Super Soaker® actually dates back to 1982 when Dr. Lonnie Johnson, a nuclear engineer, first had the idea of making a high performance toy water gun. At the time, he was employed at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena California as a spacecraft systems engineer on the Galileo mission to Jupiter. As a part time inventor, it took eight (8) years before the gun was finally introduced to consumers. In 1991, the Power Drencher (eventually renamed as the Super Soaker®) was unleashed onto the water blaster market, still in its infancy. In the interim, water gun companies such as Entertech™ and Larami ruled the water fight scene with their advances in battery powered motorized water guns. However, the motorized blasters did not offer much soaking power and the batteries required to keep these guns working proved to be costly.

Phillip Torrone

Editor at large – Make magazine. Creative director – Adafruit Industries, contributing editor – Popular Science. Previously: Founded – Hack-a-Day, how-to editor – Engadget, Director of product development – Fallon Worldwide, Technology Director – Braincraft.



  1. Nate says:

    …when we were all fighting with our motorized squirt guns :D

    Another friend showed up with a Super Soaker…we’d never seen it before. We laughed at him for having to pump it up so much, all while spritzing him with our guns.

    Then he pulled the trigger, and we stopped laughing.

    Awesome guns, those Super Soakers :D

    Well done, Dr. Johnson! Well done!

  2. Simon says:

    I had a couple of those Entertech guns too. I remember getting around the battery problem by taking them apart, wiring in a socket then running them off a bigger external battery pack.

  3. skyler stoudt says:

    why was it the old super soakers always seemed to work better then the fancy new ones.