Lawn Sprinklers: An Innovation in Irrigation
June 1, 2015
There’s a keystone in every great invention.
Water is among the most frequently utilized resources in the world—especially during hot and humid summer seasons. Water is abundant; it can be found all around us as well as inside of us. The earth is covered by approximately 71% water, and water accounts for over two-thirds of the human body. Thanks to water, people stay nourished and refreshed, which is even more important as temperatures rise.
In addition to providing nourishment for human beings, water is also utilized to cultivate vegetables, plants, and various other products. The average American doesn’t grow and harvest crops, but many of them enjoy taking part in gardening.
Americans developed more of an interest in gardening and lawn care during the 19th Century. At the time, many people moved from dense city centers to wide open suburban areas; these areas were much more conducive for domestic gardening. Water is critical to proper garden and lawn care, and a common tool for utilizing water is the sprinkler.
When water is artificially applied to soil or land, the process is referred to as irrigation. People utilized irrigation methods as far back as 6000 B.C.E. During that time, Mesopotamian farmers planted their crops—usually wheat and barley—along the Tigris or Euphrates rivers to ensure crops were properly hydrated.
Unfortunately, these farmers relied heavily on rainfall and flooding to irrigate crops; this overreliance led to the creation of new irrigation methods. The earliest and most simple method was transporting buckets of water back and forth, but this method wasn’t very effective. Several years later, new irrigation technology was invented.
The Lawn Sprinkler
Irrigation sprinklers provide much-needed water to lawns, gardens, and diverse crops. The typical sprinkler design included a hosepipe that supplied water to a metal arm; this metal arm was placed on a spinning base, which enabled water to be thinly spread over a large area.
Due to the thousands of patents in the U.S., it’s difficult to determine where the sprinkler idea originated from. American inventor Joseph Oswald was not the first to patent the sprinkler, but his ideas paved the way for more improved sprinkler products. In 1890, Oswald was the first to incorporate a rotating mechanism into the sprinkler, which could keep the metal arm from moving too quickly or slowly (depending on the end user’s needs).
Over a century later, sprinklers are still commonly used in various applications. Thanks to advancements in technology, modern sprinklers are even more helpful; today’s sprinklers are used in junction with electronic components, such as digital timers and controllers, weather sensors, and even remote controls.
With the support of Keystone, agriculturalists and gardening enthusiasts can properly hydrate their crops and lawns, keeping everything green and healthy—just as nature intended.