It provided free, pure drinking water straight from the heavens and a luster to shampooed hair so prized a brand of shampoo advertised for years it gave hair a shine "like rainwater".
What happened was rain barrels became a magnet for mosquitoes. Yet even in this era of concern about West Nile Virus two South Euclid city councilwomen want to bring back rain barrels.
"We have lots of citizens waiting to do this," said Councilwoman Jane Goodman.
"Water is a precious resource that shouldn't be wasted.
Current law in South Euclid and many communities requires downspouts to feed into storm sewers which were seen as a way to prevent flooding.
"But today, in heavy downpours, we get erosion, flooding and overflow of water into people's yards. It's increasingly happening in our city," said Goodman's co-sponsor of the rain barrrel legislation, Councilwoman Sunny Simon.
"We're proud to be a leader in the rain barrel movement," Simon said.
Modern rain barrels are available at home improvement stores, on-line, and at Blue Pike Farm at 840 East 72nd St. in Cleveland.