YouTube: Shawn Woods

Mousetrap From 1882 Uses Handgun to Dispatch Problem Rodents

This YouTuber has discovered a very interesting mousetrap design from 1882.

Get a load of this mousetrap! I don't know where Shawn Woods digs up these old mousetraps, but they certainly are a blast.

This beauty was patented in 1882 in Texas, and was pretty much guaranteed to blow away any competing mousetrap designs.

Okay, enough with the gun puns. This design is fascinating, as it utilizes a loaded-and-cocked revolver that fires a bullet into the mouse or rat when the trigger mechanism is activated.

It's a fairly simple build and would surely do its intended job of dispatching rodents. But as Woods says, there are safety issues that the inventor, James Williams, obviously didn't consider important that would be of great concern today.

Interestingly, Williams also touted the contraption's suitability for killing potential unwelcome humans who might be trying to break into one's home. Those were different times, to be sure.

In addition to killing rats, the patent also states that the trap "gives an alarm" (a gunshot) every time it goes off. I imagine that would soon become an irritant rather than a benefit. Imagine waking up in the middle of the night from the sound of a gunshot.

Speaking of old mousetrap designs, check out this 600-year-old Merode mousetrap Woods recreated, as well as this 8,000-year-old mousetrap used by the ancient Egyptians.

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