IRON TRAP, America, c. 1780-1820.
Made of heavy wrought iron bars and fitted with a spring mechanism and a link chain, traps were among the more complicated items made by the blacksmith. This example, with its flat-edged jaws, was probably designed to catch fur-bearing animals, possibly beavers, since it lacks the sharp iron teeth integral to the devices used to entrap wolves and bears. An early label states the trap was found on Hoosac Mountain about 1824 by Turner Potter and his father of Greenfield.*
*From Suzanne L. Flynt, Susan McGowan, and Amelia F. Miller, Gathered and Preserved (Deerfield, Massacusetts: Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, 1991), p. 55.