Montreal Gazette, 28 August 1869, page 2


How to Catch them – Business and Pleasure Combined

For catching rats in a cheap and effective manner we recommend the following – Cover a common barrel with stiff stout paper; tying the edge around the barrel; place a board so that the rats may have easy access to the top; sprinkle cheese-parings or other “feed” for the rats on the paper for several days until they begin to believe that they have a right to their daily rations from this source; then place in the bottom of the barrel a piece of rock, about 6 in or 7 in high, filling with water until only enough of it projects above the water for one rat to lodge upon. Now replace the paper, first cutting a cross in the middle, and the first rat that comes on the barrel top goes through into the water, and climbs on the rock. The paper comes back in place, and the second rat follows the first. Then begins a fight for the possession of the dry place on the stone, the noise of which attracts the rest, who share the same fate.

[I know, a bit icky, but let us be realistic for a moment – rats were a common problem in the 19C, and their control was important for the health of the household]