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Requisites Of A Good Steel Trap


1. The jaws should not be too thin nor sharp cornered. In the

cheaper class of steel traps the jaws approach to the thinness

of sheet-iron, and the result is that the thin edges often sever

the leg of their would-be captive in a single stroke. At other

times the leg is so deeply cut as to easily enable the animal to

gnaw or twist it off. This is the common mode of escape, with many


The pan should not be too large. This is a very common fault

with many steel traps and often defeats its very object. Where the

pan is small, the foot of the animal in pressing it, will be directly

in the centre of the snap of the jaw, and he is thus firmly secured

far up on the leg. On the other hand, a large pan nearly filling

the space between the jaws as the trap is set, may be sprung by a

touch on its extreme edge, and the animal's toe is thus likely to

get slightly pinched, if indeed the paw is not thrown off altogether

by the forcible snap of the jaw.

3. The springs should be strong, scientifically tempered, and

proportioned. The strength of a perfectly tempered spring will

always remain the same, whether in winter or summer, never losing

its elasticity. The best of tempering, however, is useless in a

spring badly formed or clumsily tapered.

4. The jaws should be so curved as to give the bow of the spring

a proper sweep to work upon. The jaws should lie flat when open,

and should always work easily on their hinges.

5. Every trap should be furnished with a strong chain with ring and

swivel attached, and in every case the swivel should turn easily.

The celebrated Newhouse Trap embodies all the above requisites,

and has deservedly won a reputation for excellence second to no

other in this or any other country.

They are made in eight sizes, as follows:

This is the smallest size and is known as the RAT TRAP. It has a

single spring, and the jaws spread three and a half inches when


This size is called the MUSKRAT TRAP, and the jaws spread four

inches. It is especially designed for the capture of the mink, marten,

and animals of similar size.

This is known in the trade as the MINK TRAP, and the jaws spread

nearly five inches. It is adapted for the fox, raccoon, or fisher.

This size is called the FOX TRAP. The spread of the jaws is the

same as in the foregoing, but the trap is provided with two springs,

and consequently has double the power. It is strong enough for

the otter, and is generally used for the capture of the fox and


No.3 goes by the name of the OTTER TRAP. The jaws spread five and

a half inches, and the powerful double springs do excellent service

in the capture of the beaver, fox, badger, opossum, wild cat, and

animals of like size.

Commonly called the BEAVER TRAP. Jaws spread six and a half inches.

This size is especially adapted to the wolf, lynx or wolverine. It

may also be set for deer, and extra sets of jaws are made expressly

for this purpose, being easily inserted in the place of the ordinary

jaws, when desired.

This is known as the GREAT BEAR TAMER, and is a most formidable

weapon. The jaws spread sixteen inches, and the weight of the machine

is forty-two pounds. It is extensively used in the capture of the

moose and grizzly bear, and is the largest and most powerful steel

trap made in this or any other country. The springs possess most

tremendous power, and require to be set by a lever, as the weight

of an ordinary man has not the slightest effect upon them. This

lever may be easily applied, as follows: Have at hand four stout

straps, supplied with buckles. These should always be carried by

the trapper, where the larger double-spring traps are used. To

adjust the lever, cut four heavy sticks about three feet long.

Take two of them and secure their ends together, side by side,

with one of the straps. Now insert the spring of the trap between

them, near the strap. Bear down heavily on the other extremity of

the lever, and the spring will be found to yield easily, after

which the remaining ends of the levers should be secured by a second

strap. The other spring should now be treated in the same way,

after which the jaws should be spread and the pan adjusted. The

removal of the straps and levers is now an easy matter, after which

the trap is set. The stoutest spring is easily made to yield by such


The SMALL BEAR TRAP. The jaws of this size spread nearly a foot,

and the weight of the trap is seventeen pounds. It is used in the

capture of the black bear, puma, and animals of similar size.

All of the foregoing are supplied with swivels and chains.