The concept behind the lawn sprinkler dates back to ancient irrigation attempts in areas like Mesopotamia and Rome. However, the modern lawn sprinkler didn’t appear until the late 19th century. It was invented by Joseph Lessler of Buffalo, New York. In 1871, he filed a patent for “Improvement in Lawn-Sprinklers” and described “a portable water fountain and sprinkler.” Other designs and patents soon followed. Lawn sprinklers gained popularity because they helped cut down on the time that the average person had to spend watering in order to maintain a green lawn, something that Americans began to increasingly value. Over time, rotating models were introduced. Oscillating-wave sprinklers also became popular. But these sprinklers weren’t just used for lawn care: American children often played in them during hot summer days (and continue to do so today!). This established them as an icon of American childhood as well as a helpful lawn care tool. Today, lawn sprinklers remain popular. Many homes even have integrated sprinkler systems that use computers to help minimize wasted water and maximize effectiveness.