In Praise of Better Mousetrap Builders

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"Build a better mouse trap and the world will build a path to your door."

Paraphrase of quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson – 1882

I am getting ready for Germany and in doing so chanced upon this wonderful patent illustration for a better mousetrap.  The inventory,  J.A. Williams, may he rest in peace,  was inspired to go out into his carriage house or wherever they went in those days and come up with what he believed was a better mousetrap.  In looking at this diagram, it is not clear to me if the gun is designed to kill the mouse or to intimidate him into turning over all of his money.  In either case, that mouse may also rest in peace.

MousetrapSo, how does a better mouse trap tie into Nuremberg and Toy Fair?  Well, it’s because there would be no Nuremberg or New York Toy Fairs, or a toy industry at all for that matter, if there were no inventors.  The industry gets so busy buying and selling at these affairs that those engaged in that practice fail to notice those erstwhile J.A. Williams, and Edison’s who quietly roam the halls of the convention center with their inventions in hand and ideas in mind.

So, thank you, all you wonderful people who sit in your garages or at your kitchen tables and create new toys.  Many fail; sometimes because the idea is simply horrible or ill timed or poorly presented or any number of reasons.  Some do, however, succeed and succeed brilliantly. 

Keep your eyes open at this year’s fairs.  Who knows you may see the next better mousetrap or “Mousetrap” game for that matter.  And by the way, remember to have fun!

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