A number of unique and intriguing mousetraps have been . The best are true marvels of engineering, beautiful in their mechanical simplicity. One of the greatest has to be the patented by Colin Pullinger & Sons in 1861. The model that the Museum of English Rural Life (MERL) in Berkshire, UK has on display just caught a mouse without any bait.
The staff at MERL came in Wednesday morning to an email from an assistant curator that read: "There appears to be a dead mouse in this mousetrap, which is not described as being there on the database." As Pullinger & Sons claim right on the trap, it will indeed "last a lifetime."
Colin Pullinger's Perpetual Mouse Traps are centered around a seesaw mechanism that allows them to catch multiple mice. When a mouse smells bait from outside the trap, it crawls into the entrance hole onto a beam. The only option is for the mouse to go to the left, which tilts the see-saw in the same direction, trapping it from returning to the entrance hole. The mouse then goes further down the trap—the only place to go—and passes through another one-way gate, trapping it at the edge of the box. Meanwhile, the see-saw at the center has rocked over, leaving the right side of the trap waiting for another unwary rodent.
Pullinger had a factory that employed 40 men to pump out these beauties, according to the trap's , and he saw a significant amount of success from the business for a time. As he grew elderly, the introduction of cheaper mousetraps replaced his two-sided box design.
The MERL has yet to decide what should be done with the dead mouse, but the idea has been floated to have it taxidermied and displayed along with the trap.