Johnston County Inventor Creates a Device to Keep Every Lawn Green
Posted July 8, 1999
RALEIGH — Are you the type of person who will try to come up with a gadget to make your life easier, or do you just go out and buy it? Linwood Van Hoy is the former, and his capital idea might just help you.
Anyone who has a lawn and cares about it knows the sound of a sprinkler very well. They sprout up all summer long like a lifeline spreading water when nature runs dry.
"Being it's all plastic, it's pretty much maintenance free," Van Hoy said as he described his invention, a sprinkler stand that fits on the end of a line or hose. "And I liked the idea of having a valve to cut it off instead of having to go cut it off at the house every time."
His contraptions make the chore of watering the lawn a little easier. One stand rests flat on the ground, and the other is raised so it can be put in a garden without hurting the plants.
"It sets up a little higher and it's mobile, so you can move it around," Van Hoy said. "You're not really pushing it in the ground and it's light."
The sprinkler stand is made out of PVC pipe -- that's because Van Hoy has been in the plumbing business for most of his life.
"I said, 'I've got all these parts right here in my store and in my truck,'" Van Hoy said, "and I can put it together and it works the same, and we don't have to go buy sprinklers every year."
His ingenuity runs in the family.
"I guess I got it from my dad," Van Hoy said. "He's always put together things. There's not really a real need to have [the stand], other than just thinking I could build it myself, and it'd be kind of neat to sell a few of them or whatever."
Van Hoy thinks they might sell because they are so simple.
"I think it's a little different maybe, and some people would buy it for that," he said. "I haven't sold many, but I haven't heard anything bad, so I'm thinking that's good."
Plus, this capital idea might just grow another one.
"You know you made it yourself and you kind of think it works better than the other ones, and it gives you that sense that you've done it, you've built it," Van Hoy said. "So yeah, it has sparked a little something in me, I think."
Van How is selling his sprinkler stands for $25. Right now, they are in small stores around Johnston County where you might buy sprinkler supplies.