[WORLDKINGS DISCOVERY] Record Nominations – P24. Simcha Blass (1897 – 1982) : The engineer invented the first drip irrigation system in the world.


(WorldKings.org) Simcha Blass (November 27, 1897 – July 18, 1982‎) was a Polish - Israeli engineer and inventor who developed the modern drip irrigation system with his son Yeshayahu.

Simcha Blass was born in Warsaw, Poland which was then part of the Rusian Empire, to an Orthodox Jewish family. He was active in the Jewish self-defense units organized in Warsaw to defend Jews during the end of World War I His engineering studies in Warsaw were interrupted by the Polish – Soviet War and completed after that war. Later, he invented, patented and developed an operative wheat planting machine, which was tested and sold in Europe and in Palestin (1927), but proved uneconomical.




Simcha Blass with Eric Johnston, founder of Mekorot


The first drip irrigation discovery was made almost accidentally. While spending time in the desert regions of southern Israel, Blass noticed that one tree near his location seemed to be prospering better that all the other nearby foliage.Upon closer investigation, Simcha discovered that a water pipe near this tree had sprung a small leak—dripping regular water onto its root system, allowing it to flourish.



This finding would then start a journey of trial and error, as the inventor began to test various materials and water pressures that would allow an irrigation pipe to drip water in regular intervals on the root systems of trees and other plan.



In the late 1950s, with the advent of modern plastics during and after World War II, he took a major step towards implementing his idea. After leaving government service in 1956 he reopened his private engineering office and worked with his son Yeshayahu on the drip irrigation idea. The main aspect of the new invention was to release water through larger and longer passageways (rather than tiny holes) by using friction to slow water inside a plastic emitter. Larger passageways prevented the blocking of tiny holes by very small particles. The first experimental system of this type was established in 1959

By the early 1960’s Blass was able to achieve this goal and would go on to patent the process. His next step was to build relationships with a location that would allow him to test this newfound product. Kibbutz Hazerim, located in the Negev, was his place of choice. Natafim Irrigation Company was established in 1965 and production began just a year later.




According to en.wikipedia


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