- For other uses of "Rain Bird" and "Rainbird", see Rainbird.
|This article relies too much on references to primary sources. (February 2014)|
|Headquarters||Azusa, California, USA|
|Key people||Anthony LaFetra, CEO|
|Products||Over 4000 Irrigation Products|
Rain Bird had its origins in early 1933 when Glendora, California citrus grower Orton Englehardt developed the first prototype of the horizontal action impact sprinkler. The new design offered slow rotation and more efficient watering than other sprinklers of that era, features that were long sought after by local irrigators. Orton's friend and neighbor Clement LaFetra began helping him make and market the sprinklers and urged him to patent the invention. The patent (U.S. Patent No. 1,997,901) was awarded on April 16, 1935. Englehardt preferred farming, so in 1935 he sold the business to Clement and Mary Elizabeth LaFetra, whose descendants still operate the company today. The name Rain Bird was taken from the Native American legend of a bird that brought rain, in reference to the "bird-like" appearance of the impact sprinkler in action. Since its beginnings, Rain Bird has offered irrigation products for farms, golf courses, sports arenas, commercial developments, and residential landscapes worldwide. Rain Bird has been awarded hundreds of patents. Rain Bird also offers education, training and services for the industry and the community. Rain Bird maintains manufacturing assembly facilities in the United States, France, and Mexico.
The company's guiding philosophy called "The Intelligent Use of Water" is about using water wisely. The company is committed to developing products and systems that use water efficiently, including drip irrigation, high efficiency sprinkler nozzles, advanced computer-based central control and weather-based self-adjusting controllers. With prolonged drought affecting many parts of the world, Rain Bird is actively involved in promoting and supporting efforts to educate consumers, government and industry about ways to use water more efficiently. The company has held 12 global summit meetings to facilitate discussion of water issues, in addition to publishing four educational white papers on the subject.
The Rain Bird horizontal action impact drive sprinkler head was recognized as a historic landmark of agricultural engineering in 1990 by the American Society of Agricultural Engineers. This invention led to sprinkler irrigation development that currently exceeds 50 million acres worldwide. Other products that have received this award include Eli Whitney's cotton gin.
In 2010, Rain Bird, in partnership with the non-profit American Public Gardens Association, established National Public Gardens Day, a national day of celebration to raise awareness of America’s public gardens and their important role in promoting environmental stewardship and awareness, plant and water conservation, and education in communities nationwide.
- "Company Backgrounder". Rain Bird Corporation. Retrieved 2013-02-22.
- "The Intelligent Use of Water". Rain Bird Corporation. Retrieved 2013-02-22.
- "Rain Bird Impact Drive Sprinkler Head - 1990". ASABE Historic Landmarks. American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers. Retrieved 2013-02-22.
- "About Public Gardens Day". National Public Gardens Day. Retrieved 2013-02-22.