Albert P. Caruso, a pioneer in the manufacturing of pepper spray devices, has died aged 85. Born in Kenmore, New York State, Caruso worked for seven years as a life and health insurance agent for Manhattan Casualty Co. in Syracuse, before founding his own insurance firm in 1960.
Caruso dabbled in several industries over the years, according to Insurance News. As a child, he was an apprentice to his father who was a shoemaker, making orthopaedic shoes for children. He eventually took over his father’s business and also did holster repair work for the Kenmore Police Department. In the early 1970s, he devised an aerosol dispensing system for pepper spray and in 1975 he founded Avanti USA.
Based in the city of Tonawanda, Avanti USA is a leading manufacturer of pepper spray devices for police departments and civilians across the US. Caruso received 10 patents for his aerosol container components and was inducted into the American Society of Inventors in 1980. He was also nominated for the annual Western New York Inventor of the Year Award in 2006 for his patented actuator for aerosol containers.