Pre-1840 traps

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My pre-1840 all the way back to into the 1700's trap collection arrived today. Super excited since one usually hears there are very few pre-1840 and almost no 1700's traps left. The ones that would be good beaver traps have masking tape around the jaws. Some are still useable, others are to far gone for anything but hanging in the cabin.
IMG_5291.jpg
 

FishDFly

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This is interesting. Out of curiosity, where does a person find traps that old?
 
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I tried Etsy first. Bought a couple of traps that were advertised as late 1700's and early 1800's that were really pre 1840 and early 1900's. Then I went on a trapper forum and started talking with them. Most told me what I wrote above but one guy PM'd me and said he had some as he is a trap collector.
 

FishDFly

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Thanks, it is a shame the traps cannot talk, would be interesting to know where they have been and what they have caught.

Cabin we stayed in, in Alaska had a bunch of traps hanging under the eaves. Kinda wish I had taken a picture of them.

Have some traps for beaver, 1960's vintage!
 
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Completely agree. I will actually take a couple of the beaver traps and use them in the spring. It would be awesome to put them back to work even if it is only one more time. I guess I'd be a terrible purist collector of most anything cause I always feel it should be put back in service and used, kinda out of respect for its maker as well as the thing. And hey, once I've gone under I don't really care whether i added to or took away from its value because I cleaned/repaired and used it. :)
 

Spence10

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I have a trap I bought a long time ago which I don't know much about, maybe you can educate me. It's obviously blacksmith made, the jaws are 6.5" wide, the trap weighs 3 pounds. Any idea what kind of trap it might be or how old it is?
Thanks.
beaver trap3.JPG

Spence
 

rich pierce

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It’s hard to date traps but they started to be manufactured by the 1870s and this would have made forging one off traps cost prohibitive. So, hand forged traps are generally going to be pre-Civil War. It’s likely that chains on old traps have been replaced, so dating by chain construction is not 100% accurate.
 

rich pierce

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I have a trap I bought a long time ago which I don't know much about, maybe you can educate me. It's obviously blacksmith made, the jaws are 6.5" wide, the trap weighs 3 pounds. Any idea what kind of trap it might be or how old it is?
Thanks.
View attachment 103766
Spence
Spence, nice features on this include the springs with large round openings on the top leaf and smaller on the lower leaf, and the nicely shaped pillars the jaws are riveted to. I’d guess 1850s plus or minus, standard beaver trap.
 

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Enclosed is a image of UK collectors traps from that period , These traps are now illegal here in the UK they were used by mostly gamekeepers for rabbits, stoats, weasels and the larger ones which we refer too has gin traps also for fox and otter and the very large trap known has a man trap .,the round jaw traps are known has pole traps for catching wing vermin The gun on the left is a trip wire gun also used by game keepers against trespassers and poachers , also used in grave yards against grave robbers which became illegal in 1825 .
Feltwad
P1010007.JPG
 

Spence10

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Spence, nice features on this include the springs with large round openings on the top leaf and smaller on the lower leaf, and the nicely shaped pillars the jaws are riveted to. I’d guess 1850s plus or minus, standard beaver trap.
Thank you, Rich.

Spence
 

Red Owl

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As said, really hard to date traps. The outdoor magazine FUR FISH GAME has a monthly column on trap collecting and there is an organization about it. That trap looks a lot like a modern #5 Bridger except the springs are of heavier thickness and the pan is square.
 
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Don't scrub, or clean, or remove patina.


Look for stamps on the springs. Bottom of the frame, and of course the pan.
 

megasupermagnum

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How do you tell the difference between historical muzzleloaders from contemporary?
Even just from pictures, it's usually pretty easy to tell an actual pre civilwar muzzleloader, from a modern replica. There's enough differences in sights, barrel steel, finish, wood, and overall methods to tell. I'm sure there's some out there who build rifles 100% to authentic methods and standards, including iron barrels, but most of us at least compromise somewhere.
 

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