Without irrigation, our crops and gardens would be severely limited by the weather patterns and subject to the mercy of Mother Nature. Irrigation is the process of moving water from one place to another, using anything from canals to pipes. While there’s no way to completely shield crops from the weather, using irrigation improves our chances of raising healthy and thriving plants. After all, all plants need a reliable water source. Irrigation removes the necessity of relying on rainfall and hand-watering to make growing a variety of plants possible. But how has the industry changed over the years? This brief history of irrigation will help you understand a little more about the sprinkler system in your yard in Fort Lauderdale, FL.


Historians believe that irrigation was used by Native American tribes as early as 1200 BC, using canals to transfer water across the desert. Fast forward to the 19th century, when the first sprinkler system was patented by Charles Skinner. His “Skinner system” helped bring irrigation to the American home.

Over the years, the sprinkler system was improved upon, from using garden hoses and couplers around 1904 to developing better seals in the 1930s. By the 1950s, the mechanized sprinkler system was invented by Valmont Irrigation and its founder Robert Daugherty, who believed strongly in water conservation to improve crop quality and increase its yields.

The 1970s saw the rise of center pivot sprinkler systems, which are one of the most popular industrial systems to this day. These systems are self-propelled and deliver water to a circular section of crops, and you can see them in use on farms.


Today, we use very similar irrigation tools to what Skinner patented in 1894. The general idea and “bones” of the systems remain the same, but improvements are constantly being made to handle different types of crops, terrain and climates. Irrigation technology today uses devices like touchscreens and apps to maximize efficiency. Some report on your water usage, while others deliver fertilizer and pest control solutions along with water.

As climate change becomes an increasingly important concern, inventors and designers are creating systems to cut down on water usage and stay on top of environmental issues. Although these are typically reserved for commercial farmers, the same technology has spread to home and garden irrigation systems today with “smart home” apps.

All things considered, the modern practice of irrigation still bears striking similarities to its ancient roots.


Spillers Sprinklers Inc. offers the highest-quality sprinkler systems to the Fort Lauderdale area, installed by our team of experts. For anyone who loves a lush garden but doesn’t have the time to water it by hand, you need a sprinkler system that can handle your lawn’s needs. Not only do we offer sprinkler systems, but we can also install complementary pest control solutions, and offer repair and maintenance services for both. If this brief history of irrigation has you feeling inspired, call us today to find out how we can help your Fort Lauderdale, FL garden look great.