Why is it Called a French Drain?
Don’t let this name fool you though! Henry Flagg French, the creator of the French Drain. A lawyer and Assistant US Treasury Secretary from Concord, Massachusetts, French introduced this concept in his 1859 publication Farm Drainage. Originally designed with sections of roofing tile with 1/8 inch of separation to admit water.
To accommodate this system, specialized tiles were made. The gravel size was varied from course at the center of the pile, and fine surrounding it; this was proven to be the best way to prevent clogging, until geotextiles (permeable fabrics with the ability to separate, filter, protect, and drain) were introduced in the 1950s.