“Build a better mouse trap, and the world will beat a path to your door.”
This quote, commonly attributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson, is as true today as when it was originated in the late 19th century.
Throughout American history, we’ve constantly searched for new ways to improve upon the lowly and simple mouse trap. In fact, since 1838, there have been more patents issued for these traps than any other device – over 4,400 of them.
These patents cover a wide range of different varieties of mousetraps, from “Electrocuting and Explosive,” “Choking or Squeezing,” and “Swinging Striker,” to name a few.
Here, we will share some of history’s most innovative – and deadly – mousetrap designs.
History of the Mouse Trap
“The Delusion,” John H. Norris, 1877.
This trap lured unsuspecting mice through a disorienting tunnel via a hinged door, which closed shut behind them and could only be reopened from the outside.
“The Little Nipper” James Henry Atkinson, 1898.
One of the earliest examples of a spring-loaded bar trap. This design was very similar to one invented by William C. Hooker, who beat Atkinson to the patent office by four years. A timeless design, “The Little Nipper” is still widely used in England, Atkinson’s country of origin.
4-Hole Choker Trap, Animal Trap Company of America, 1920s.
This trap could catch up to four mice at a time and was very popular due to its ease of use. Mice would stick their heads into the hole to grab the bait, triggering the spring-loaded wire choker to release.
The Kness Ketch-All Multiple Catch, Austin Kness, 1920s.
Of course, not all early mouse traps were snapping, choking, instruments of death. Pictured is a modern version of the humane and bait-free design created by Austin Kness. This trap can catch mice live, several at a time before requiring a reset.
As with the Kness design, this one catches mice live.
Peerless Mouse Trap, Automatic Trap Company, 1921.
This trap could be considered a precursor to today’s bucket traps. It encouraged mice to climb to the top of the structure, where they would then tumble to their doom through a trap door, into a pool of water.
Promax Mouth Type Trap
Over the years, many designs have featured a mouth-like mechanism, including teeth. This particularly fearsome looking trap was manufactured by Promax.
We’ll Make Your Mouse Problem History!
While history has been littered with thousands of various mouse trap designs, nobody seems to have solved one of the biggest problems with them.
How do you dispose of the mice after they’ve been caught?
Let Croach® do the dirty work for you. Our trained rodent control professionals are happy to trap and remove any rodents that may be infesting your home and consult with you on how to keep them out for good.