Rat Trap

Jason Alexander Williams didn’t mess around when it came to killing rodents. His ‘animal trap’ (patented in 1882) shot them dead:

My invention relates to an improvement in animal-traps; and it consists in the combination of a suitable frame upon which a revolver or pistol is secured, a treadle which is secured to the front end of this frame, and a suitable spring and levers, by which the firearm is discharged when the animal steps upon the treadle, as will be more fully described hereinafter.

The object of my invention is to provide a means by which animals which burrow in the ground can be destroyed, and which trap will give an alarm each time that it goes off, so that it can be reset.

And his invention didn’t just kill rodents. Williams noted:

This invention may also be used in connection with a door or window, so as to kill any person or thing opening the door or window to which it is attached.

via weirduniverse.net

Clean hands assured

Claude Davis of Melbourne, Florida obtained a patent for this curious device in 2000.

The gadget attached to bathroom doors. Whenever someone turned the handle to open the door, the gadget would spray their hand with dye. This, reasoned Davis, would encourage people to wash their hands, to remove the dye. He imagined his invention might be useful in restaurants and hospitals that have “statutory type hygiene requirements to have their staff and employees clean their hands after using restroom facilities.”