Wednesday, 29 December 2010

He that watereth

duck sprinkler
In July I had the pleasure of staying with my friend  Judge Ernest Cavallo at his home on Long Island, New York. I got to know him as a galanthophile, but as his entry on the New York Courts page says, he has another hobby as well - 'he spends his spare time in his garden and on Ebay where he collects vintage lawn sprinklers.'

Dayton Rotary Co. sprinkler from 1913.
The lateral jet of water turns the aluminium
 wheel, which turns the sprinkler head.

The result of his quest is a large collection of sprinklers, all of the pre-plastics era, in an unimaginable diversity of shapes and sizes, ranging in date from the Nineteenth Century to the 1950s or so, but all with the sole original purpose of watering the lawn. Ernest very kindly put on a demonstration of some of them to show their competence, and in some cases, the beauty of their watering pattern - I hope these pictures convey something of the interest and charm of the collection.

the duck in action, with other sprinkler models
a 'Pluviette' sprinkler from the 1910s


Carolina Duck sprinkler

'he that watereth shall be watered also himself.' Proverbs 11: 25

1 comment:

  1. Neat! I live in South Carolina and desperately covet that Carolina Duck sprinkler. I've found that most of the irrigation equipment I buy lately seems to have far too much built-in obsolescence. It's nice to see some sprinklers that last.

    I'd be delighted if you'd consider submitting your Lawson cypress post for the next issue of How to Find Great Plants. The due date is December 31st and this is the link explaining how to enter:


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