Perhaps after Henry French of Concord, MA
- A shallow trench, perhaps lined with tile or containing a perforated pipe, backfilled with gravel and then covered over, used to collect and channel runoff water.
- A gravel filled corridor with a perforated pipe running through it that runs against the foundation footings of a building, used to collect ground water and drain it away from the building's interior.
French, Henry F., Farm Drainage: The Principles, Processes, and Effects of Draining Land with Stones, Wood, Plows, and Open Ditches and Especially with Tiles, Including Tables of Rain-Fall, Evaporation, Filtration, Excavation, Capacity of Pipes; Cost and Number to the Acre of Tiles, Etc, Etc., New York, A.O. Moore & Co., 1859.
- https://web.archive.org/web/20060906125211/http://www.concordma.com/magazine/janfeb00/frenchdrains.html – article speculating about Henry French origin