Mouse Trap Museums

There are four museums that are important for displaying actual mouse traps that have played a significant role in the history of  mouse trap design. These four museums in their order of importance are:-

 

1. The Trap Museum, Galloway, Ohio, USA.

 

This Museum is placed first because most historically important mouse traps of the last two centuries have been invented and patented in the USA and the Museum displays examples of many of these (Fig.1). To visit the Museum it is necessary first to contact Tom Parr (trappersworld@rrohio.com ). Tom is President of the North American Trap Collectors Association (NATCA) and as well as containing mouse traps his Museum most importantly houses a splendid collection of large Animal Traps that played an important role in the early history of the USA (Fig.2). Tom can also supply you with all the NATCA-published books on the history of mouse traps still in print. To learn more about the mouse traps in Tom's Museum visit the Museum's website www.traphistorymuseum.com .
 
Fig.1                                                                                  Fig.2




2. The Mouse Trap Museum, Neroth, Vulkaneifel, Germany

 

This Museum was established in 1990 by the Heimatverein Neroth in the old School House to celebrate the mouse trap making cottage industry that had flourished in Neroth and nearby villages for over one hundred years. Unfortunately however before the museum could be established an ardent German trap collector, Reinhard Hellwig, had visited Neroth and bought much of the surviving stock of the onetime trap makers.This meant that the museum has for many years been unable to display actual examples of many of the typical traps that had been made in the area. The good news is that David Drummond and Joachim Dagg were able to use photographs of Reinhard’s Neroth mouse traps in a book titled Neroth Mouse Traps and their Makers.

 

The even better news is that one of us (DD) was able to acquire from Reinhard’s  trap collection most of his Neroth mouse traps as well as some historically important German ones. During a three day visit to Neroth by David and Joachim in early April 2012. David was able to donate these two groups of mouse traps to the Mouse Trap Museum (Fig.1), where they are now on display. He also gave to the museum a group of historically imprtant French mouse traps since there seemed to be no French museums interested enough in displaying mouse traps. He also presented to the Museum for its archives a complete set of his books on mouse traps and related topics.
 
David was kindly driven by his eldest daughter and her husband (Mary and Graham Fawcett) to Neroth where we met in the Museum Ewald Peters (the Museum Curator),  Mechthild Sonnen and Joachim Dagg (Fig.2)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           



Fig.1



Fig.2  From left to right this figure depicts Mechthild Sonnen, Mary Fawcett, Ewald Peters, David Drummond, Graham Fawcett and Joachim Dagg.

At the time of their visit David and Joachim were also able to arrange the publication of the German edition of their book (recently translated by Joachim) and transfer its publication and copyright rights to the Heimatverein Neroth. This book is now available in the museum and can also be ordered from Mechthild Sonnen (m.sonnen@outlook.com ). The Museum itself is only open on Mondays and Fridays from April to October, except by special arrangement for Group Visits.

 

To view all the mouse traps made in the area read Neroth Mouse Traps and their makers (in English and German). Most of these traps are now on display in the Museum.

 
3. Museum of English Rural Life (MERL)
 
The Museum of English Rural Life is part of Reading University and is now located at Redlands Road, Reading RG1 5EX.
 
Soon after the publication in 2008 of his book British Mouse Traps and their Makers David Druumond donated to MERL his collection of mouse traps that were illustrated in the book including the replicas of mediaeval mouse traps that he had made himself. These traps  are now in store in the Museum and can be viewed by visitors who must first make an appointment either by email (merl@reading.ac.uk ) or telephone (0118 378 8660).

To discover exactly which mouse traps are available at the
Museum of English Rural Life - (Please read instruction below)

To view the online catalogue please click the link above; In the field entitled "Object Name" please type "trap, mouse". This will bring up all the Mouse Trap in the MERL's Collection - 83 in Total

 

4. Dorking Museum
 
David Drummond is a Dorking author and publisher (Mouse Trap Books, 22 Knoll Road, Dorking RH4 3EP). All his books on mouse traps and related topics  published in Dorking are now only sold by the Dorking Museum for the benefit of the Museum. But copies of all his books are available in the Museum Library as well as in the British Library.
 
To help sell the books and promote knowledge of the  history of mouse traps, the Museum has a small display of some of the most important traps in the recent history of mouse trap design. These include the Royal No 1, the first mouse snap trap to be patented in the USA (1879), the US Up to Date (1911) and Can't Miss Four-ways (1937), the British Detective (1894) and Little Nipper (1899), the German Capito (1889) and Terror (1934) and the French Marty (1882) and Clic-Clac (1935). Illustrations of these traps can be seen on the Dorking Museum website (www.dorkingmuseum.org.uk ) under the title Mouse Trap Exhibition.
 
The Dorking Museum is open on Thursday, Friday & Saturday: 10am -4pm. It is located off West Street and its postal address is The Old Foundry 62 West Street, Dorking, Surrey RH4 1BS   and its email address is admin@dorkingmuseum.org.uk . The Museum is almost entirely concerned with local history and contains lots of local artefacts. 
 
 
5. St. Fagans  National History Museum

This Welsh open air museum is based in Cardiff and is open daily from  10am-5pm. Among its many artefacts is a collection of mouse traps many of which were made in Wales by Procter Bros and were recently presented to the Museum by Jeremy Procter. They are all figured below but to see the actual traps it is necessary to make an appointment. The Museum can be contacted by phone (0300 11123330) or email (stfagans@museumwales.co.uk )

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Monarch Rat Trap

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Dead-fall flat block mouse trap

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John Dee humane trap

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Pied-piper Electric Mouse Trap

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Selfset Rat Trap

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The Nipper

(Procter Bros Ltd)

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The Nipper

(Procter Bros Ltd)

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The Little Nipper

(Procter Bros Ltd)

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Rentokil

(Procter Bros Ltd)

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Dead-cert See-saw moustrap

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The ‘Betta’ Mouse trap

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Victory

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Veto

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Felix

(Procter Bros Ltd)

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Trap-Ease plastic mouse trap

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Produced by Procter Bros, marketing for Long John Scotch Whisky

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Nippit

(Procter Bros Ltd)

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Trapsit Selfset Ltd

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Prong mouse trap

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Klik mouse trap

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Homemade rat trap

Late 19th – early 20th century

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Choker mouse trap

  


6. Other less important Museums with some Mouse Traps

6a. Oppenheim Deutschen Weinbaumuseums.
      The Director of this Museum, Dr. Oskar Foltyn, was a collector of Mouse Traps and displayed them on the top floor of his Museum. The traps   
       were poorly labelled and only revealed the countries in which they were bought, often not those in which they were made.

6b, Museum Hameln.
      This Museum bought a large collection of homemade mouse traps from a Dutch collector and put them on display in 1984, the 700th anniversary of
       the Pied Piper. The traps are probably now in store and to see them would require an appointment to be made by phone (0515/202-1215) or email
       (museum@hameln.de ). The Museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday 11-6.

6c. Guntersberge Mausefallen & Kuriositaten-Museum
      This Museum displays antique mouse traps as well as well as old and rare kitchen appliances. It is open from 2 to 5 on Saturdays and Sundays.

6d. Powerhouse Museum
       This museum is located in the old  power station building adjacent to Darwin Harbour in North Australia. It is devoted to the history of applied arts and sciences and
        displays among its many and varied artefacts some 20 mouse traps, most of which were made in Australia.


There are of course many other museums throughout the world that display one or two antique mouse traps, probably largely because of their curiosity value.

It is also worth pointing out that the largest collection of historic mouse traps, mostly pre-1950s, is held by the Woodstream Corporation of Lititz. Pennsylvania. Unfortunately they are not available to be seen, but it is to be hoped that one day Woodstream will recognise their historic value and display them in a museum for visitors to see. Fortunately however pictures of most of these traps can be seen in some of the books on the home page of this website. These books are William C. Hooker's Great American Mouse Trap, Nineteenth Century Mouse Traps Patented in the USA, Twentieth Century Mouse Traps Patented in the USA 1900-1924 and Twentieth Century Mouse Traps patented in the USA 1925-1949.



     
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