This mouse trap from 1862 uses a very clever design.
Ever since the dawn of time, humanity has always been trying to build a better mousetrap. After all, we have always had to deal with problem rodents and controlling the population has required people to come up with some rather unique solutions. One thing we have noted is that mouse and rat trap designs that are hundreds of years old still seem to work quite well when modern ones fail.
Case in point is this cannon mouse trap from 1862. At some point, someone decided the best way to kill a rat was to leave a loaded firearm sitting around just waiting for the unsuspecting rodent to set it off.
It is quite the clever design. YouTuber Shawn Woods demonstrates how it works, and the amount of damage this thing was able to dish out.
Of course, a design like this would never fly in the modern world. There are numerous concerns about firearms safety with this that were totally understandable. It does make us wonder where the original users of this device set them up. As Shawn noted, leaving them in a barn sounds like a burned barn and livestock waiting to happen. Perhaps they did not even think that far ahead with the design.
One thing he did prove was that this mousetrap works. Had that trap been loaded with back powder and a projectile, that rat would be dead as a doornail come morning. The beauty in the design is just how simple it is constructed. There are not a ton of moving parts here. Sometimes the simplest designs are indeed the best. We would be curious to know how many of these traps were sold and used back in the day.
One thing is for certain, they had some rather unique ways of dealing with their rodent problems back during the Civil War that we would never consider today!