Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Mouse trap master

I'm soon going to see David Drummond, the current world authority concerning mouse traps, on the occasion of repatriating mouse traps from a deceased collector. David studied at University Colledge, London, and Pennsylvania State University and became a professional zoologist doing world-wide research and advice on rodent control. Somewhere along the line he started to fancy mouse traps as objects of study in their own right. After retiring he turned this interest into his topic of publications.

Since the demise of Sture Lagercrantz, who was professor for ethnography at Uppsala University until 1976, no professional academic at any university is attending the history, sociology, or any other aspects of mouse traps and related artefacts anymore (as far as I know).

Academia has left this field of artefact culture to the street mob and is now facing a dire situation, where a scrub of urban legends is overgrown by inane claims of intelligent design advocates concerning the ostensible impossibility of precursors functioning with one part less than current traps.

For all those who'd like to get a smattering of the depth and width of mouse trap history, I recommend David's homepage. Read at least "William C Hooker's great American mouse trap" online there.

P.S.: David Drummond is a digital immigrant - not a digital native. 

'Little Giant' from Drummond (2009)
For the fun of it, a rat trap from Horace Tinker of Meadville, PA (US patent 265,802, 1882). Take note of the one wire forming both spring and striker. This is a precursor, where the spring and striker function are carried by one part in comparison with current flat snap traps, where spring and striker are separate wires. For the immediate precursor of current flat traps with one part less go here.

Drummond D (2009) Norway Rat, Erie Canal & and Little Giant. North American Trap Collectors Association, Galloway, OH

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