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Public Radio's Environmental News Magazine (follow us on Google News)

Almanac: Lawn Sprinklers

Air Date: Week of

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This week, facts about lawn sprinklers. these little spigots and spouts come in all shapes. We'll learn about a place that has them all. It's the only lawn sprinkler museum in the world.


CURWOOD: It's Living on Earth. I'm Steve Curwood.


CURWOOD: It's August, and in many parts of the world this is the warmest and driest time of the year. That makes lawn sprinklers one hot commodity, and the state of Hawaii harbors a small arsenal of them, even though they're old and used. These spigots and spouts have retired from lawn care and now reside in what is probably the world's only lawn sprinkler museum. The owner is Robert Bosley of Honolulu, who also happens to be a ballroom dancer. When he travels for competitions, he and his wife add to the museum's collection.

BOSLEY: After we get through, we go out, get our Levis on and tennis shoes, and go out to all the junk places, and start looking for stuff.

CURWOOD: Mr. Bosley has sprinklers dating as far back as 1895, and has amassed a total of about 50 antiques. Some of these relics look like clowns, tractors, and even cannons.

BOSLEY: They're very complicated; they're very clever. They've got gears, and rotaries, and I'm quite amazed at the sophistication on some of these old sprinklers.

CURWOOD: The sprinkler buff does see some advantages in today's sprinklers, though, compared to their older counterparts.

BOSLEY: They use a lot less water, they're more efficient. These things are not efficient; they really go through the water in a hurry.

CURWOOD: Now, Mr. Bosley has spent up to $800 on a sprinkler that originally cost only five, but he says it's getting harder to find new acquisitions because, he laments, he's got just about everything. And for this week, that's the Living on Earth Almanac.




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