Surfing the Spectacle

The Man Who Made the Mousetrap


Who made the mousetrap?

Who? Who?

Hiram Maxim made the mousetrap.

That’s who.


Hiram had a great creative mind.

In 1881 Hiram visited the Paris Electrical Exhibition.
A man told him, “If you want to make a lot of money,
invent something that will enable these Europeans
to cut each other’s throats with greater facility.”

Hiram did. He invented the world’s first automatic portable machine-gun.


It could fire 500 rounds a minute, as much as 100 rifles.

Hiram’s invention was soon used in Africa with marvelous results.

A small group of brave English soldiers could employ
the Maxim Gun to mow line after line of unruly warriors
desperate to save their homes from destruction.


Thousands could be slaughtered in an astonishingly
safe and efficient manner.


Queen Victoria was much impressed with this American inventor
from Maine and his splendid weapon.

She made him a knight.


Hiram kept improving his invention.

It was a complicated business.
There were problems regarding the weapon’s weight,
its recoil, the need to keep it cool.

But Hiram was quite ingenious.
Men around the world appreciated this.


When they were ready for their Great War,
variations of Hiram’s machine gun
could be found on all sides.

It made a brilliant addition to a pointless conflict
in which millions butchered one another
in new and unparalleled ways!


Hiram also invented a light bulb, a flying machine
and dozens of other devices.

But his most famous invention would be his apparatus
for the mass extermination of humans.

Even the mousetrap,

while quite wonderful,

could not compete.


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