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Inventing a Better Mousetrap: Patent Models from the Rothschild Collection

How does one build a better mousetrap? It's a recurring question that one might ask of many important objects and inventions. The folks at the Smithsonian American Art Museum are also quite curious about this subject, and they have created this online exhibition to look at a range of inventions patented in the nineteenth century. The remarkable models all come from the collection of Alan Rothschild, whose holdings of 4,000 patent models is the largest private assemblage of American patent models anywhere. The elaborate models here "illustrate not only the imaginative fervor of the era but also the amazing craftsmanship required to fabricate these often intricate works of art." On the site, visitors can view a slide show of some of the models, browse patent models recently acquired by the museum, and read several excellent articles about the exhibition. Visitors shouldn't miss the fabulous Mousetrap model from 1870 and the rather beautiful fence fabricating machine from 1888.
Archived Scout Publication URL
Scout Publication
Date of Scout Publication
November 23rd, 2012
Date Of Record Creation
November 21st, 2012 at 11:24am
Date Of Record Release
November 26th, 2012 at 10:34am
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