American companies quickly jumped at the opportunity to sell thermal foggers to police departments.

Sears Roebuck

The original Mighty Mite that established the fogger as a method of chemical dispersal was manufactured by a domestic company (Sears Roebuck) for insecticide application (Applegate 1969).

Yellowed black and white photo of a stationary Mighty Mite thermal fogger. It's a backpack fogger, so there's a giant hose that's like a vacuum hose wrapped around in the middle and then another one coming off of the actual backpack, which is upright in the middle back right. there is a metal frame and a large reservoir tank sitting on top of the engine and other aspects of the machinery. There is a tube running out to the end of the hose nose from the back pack. On the right side of the image is a scale bar that makes it seem like the backpack is 24 inches tall.

Figure 9: M-106 Mighty Mite Thermal Fogger, as promoted to law enforcement in Applegate (1969). According to Applegate (1969), it is an “insecticide blower … adopted for use in Vietnam… [that can disperse] the gas agent continuosly for [15 minutes]”.

The International Association of Chiefs of Police included this style of thermal fogger in their 1969 Chemical Agents Manual (Crockett 1969), providing a trade-focused marketing opportunity. The bulkiness of the backpack proved to be a hinderance in mobile application, however, and there was an immediate push by existing corporations to produce a specialized tool for fogging chemical weapons at civilians (Applegate 1969, 1970).

General Ordnance Equipment Corporation

The General Ordnance Equipment Corporation (GOEC), who developed and trademarked Chemical Mace the year prior, began marketing a hand-held thermal fogger using the phrase “Pepper Fog” in July 1968 on their (Applegate 1969). They and applied for a trademark on the phrase in October of the same year (USTPO 2018). By the end of August 1969, GOEC had received the trademark on “Pepper Fog”, which they (and their subsequent owners including Smith and Wesson, Federal Laboratories, and Safariland) retained until it expired in 1991 (USTPO 2018).

Yellowed black and white photo of a stationary pepper fog thermal fogger pointed to the left sitting by itself. The main body is a square box that's dark with a tag in the middle that's lighter and has dark writing on it that says pepper fog g o e c. The nozzle points to the left and is a longer thinner tube about twice as long as the main body. It is also dark and has a metal cage around it that is sparse and shiny. There's also a handle and some knobs on the top of the item and something that's a little bit difficult to make out off the back of the main body.

Figure 10: General Ordnance Equipment Corporation thermal fogger (General Ordnance Equipment Corporation 1969b), as shown in Applegate (1969).

They immediately began a heavy marketing campaign taking out full-page ads in police magazines that year (General Ordnance Equipment Corporation 1969a, 1969c, 1970).

Federal Laboratories & Defense Technology

Indeed, to this day, the current owner of the legacy branding (Safariland subsidiary Defense Technology) continues to sell items under a “Pepper Fog” line, including a “pepper fog generator” that utilizes the same pulse-jet generation technique (Safariland, LLC 2020a):

Yellow-gold box shape tool with a handle on top, an image of an eagle in flight on the side, and some gauges on top.The back of the box tapers and appears to have switches and controls. Coming out of the front is a long tube that narrows at the end. The tube has a wire cage surrounding it.

Figure 11: Product image for thermal fogger (Safariland, LLC 2020b).

This has supplanted the model produced by the corporate ancestor to Defense Technology (Federal Laboratories), which was a slightly bulkier version (Samuels, Egner, and Campbell 1969).