Earthenware beetle trap, London, England, 1851-1900

1851-1900 in London
Beetle Trap Company

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Earthenware beetle trap, English, 1851-1900. Graduated matt black perspex background.
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Earthenware beetle trap, English, 1851-1900

Insects have long been seen as a nuisance – if not a health hazard – within the home and in the workplace. The crowded and dirty urban environment of Britain in the 1800s provided them with ideal conditions in which to live and breed.

This insect trap, based on an ancient design, provided some defence. Encouraged by food placed within the trap, beetles and other insects would climb up the ridged sides of the trap and fall into the hole in the centre. Here they would become trapped. As the inside is smooth, they would not be able to climb out again.


Public Health & Hygiene
Object Number:
complete and earthenware
insect trap
  • furnishing and equipment
  • tools & equipment

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