Museum's 19th Century Mousetrap Kills Museum's Modern Mouse

Turns out nobody needed to build a better mousetrap, because the 150-year-old ones work just fine, even when they’ve been stored by museum curators as part of a collection rather than set out as a pest-control tool.

BuzzFeed points to a blog post from the Museum of Rural English Life, which has a treasure-trove of workaday objects like mousetraps. And yesterday morning the assistant curator emailed everybody: “There appears to be a dead mouse in this mousetrap which is not described as being there on the database.” You see:

The trap itself was not baited, but this did not stop our mouse from wriggling inside and, finding itself trapped, meet its demise. The trap was manufactured by Colin Pullinger & Sons of Silsey, West Sussex and although we don’t know the exact date this one was made, the trap itself was patented in 1861. It is a multi-catch trap with a see-saw mechanism, and you can see its object record here. It is known as a ‘Perpetual Mouse Trap’ and proudly declares that it ‘will last a lifetime’. How apt.


Meanwhile I can’t even find a toaster that makes it to the two-year mark.

Contact the author at

Photo via Getty. A very funny mouse but not the mouse in question.

Share This Story