A better rattrap

The July 14, 1952 issue of Life had a photo feature about a contest sponsored by the city of Hammond, Ind., in which schoolchildren were asked to design a better rattrap. The challenge apparently released the inner sadist in some of the kids.

Arnold Knopf's trap: a weight falls, releasing a crossbow which shoots an arrow into the rat's back.

Jim Olsen's contribution: after the rat trips a trigger, a weight falls, jerking a noose tight around the rat's neck.

Steve Miller and Ed Cox designed a rat guillotine that included a basket to catch the rat's head.

     Posted By: Alex - Tue Feb 11, 2014
     Category: Death | Inventions | Pests, Plagues and Infestations | 1950s

Wow Jimmy Olsen has branched out from being cub reporter/someone for Superman to save...now strangling rats.

I guess that PTSD was very under diagnosed in the 50s.
Posted by crc on 02/11/14 at 09:22 AM
Better some of these for PETAites to bitch about than the 'fly paper' traps that used to be around. I mean, seriously, what the @#$@$@ were you supposed to do with the critter after it had stuck itself to the 'fly paper' and waited all night for you to come along and free it?? Stomp on it?? Feed it more hard cheese?? What?
Posted by Expat47 in Athens, Greece on 02/11/14 at 10:12 AM
8 bucks for first prize? I take it the city was just too cheap to hire a piper.
Posted by KDP on 02/11/14 at 10:43 AM
A company developed and marketed a unique mouse trap -- circular platform, center pole, and dome. Mouse attracted to scented center pole, sensor detects touch, dome drops. Optional setting was when the dome dropped, it electrified the platform, zapping the little bugger into the next world.

Years later, I read that the company considered it a great success -- they never sold a single one, but the word-of-mouth advertising was priceless.
Posted by Phideaux on 02/11/14 at 11:22 AM
I wonder if seeing this competition inspired the game Mousetrap.
Posted by Patty in Ohio, USA on 02/11/14 at 09:48 PM
Oh wow! It kind of makes you wonder what these kids grew up to become! Or maybe I don't want to know...
Posted by Indiana Travel on 03/10/14 at 06:27 PM
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