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May 13, 2015


I say, "Mouse?"

You say, "Mickey!"

NO.  I say, "Mouse?"

You say, "Trap!"

YES!  Today's post is all about vintage and historic humane mouse traps.

"Build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door." 
(The saying has been attributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson for over
a hundred years but it's actually a paraphrase of one of his statements.
I won't bore you with the essay, we all get his meaning.)

I kid you not - vintage and antique mouse traps are
collectible and attracting the Big Cheese!  (Sorry.)

We now classify antique rodent traps as Early Americana and
they show the ingenious, inventive minds of our forefathers. 
The most highly prized traps were handmade or are designs
of some of the earliest patents filed in our country.

This simple little conTRAPtion (see what I did there?) is only 3" tall
so mice must have been even tinier in our ancestors' day.

Because metal rusts, the vast majority of antique
wire vermin traps haven't survived.

I love the doily - it adds a homey touch to such a sinister device.

"$150 for a mouse trap???!!!" your kids yell.
(Think of it as 2 tanks of gas or dinner for two at Ruths Chris.)

Yes, there are entire web sites devoted to the unusual collection of mouse traps and paraphernalia.   Being the humane, animal-loving (and squeamish) person that I am, I choose to not highlight examples of barbaric traps that were popular in the past.  Often the more tortuous and evil the trap, the more collectible it is.

You're right - the trap above is Belgium, not
American, but it's so cute I had to include it.

Calm down, PETA.  It's a toy mouse.

A glass trap?  Well, that's hygienic.  (And not reusable.  For me, anyway.)

Rob Packer of Richmond, New Zealand, proudly
displays his collection of antique rodent traps.
He stated that he's seen antique traps snare $4,000. 
(Yeah, I did it, again.) 

If you're a little late to the mouse trap collecting party, don't worry.
To quote my grandfather, "It's the second mouse that gets the cheese."


  1. Some of these are really quite fun to look at. If your not a mouse.

    cheers, parsnip

  2. And I thought only your grandmother had witty sayings for every occasion! Great post, Jan!