Of Mice and Men: The Great Mouse Invasion of 1913

Mouse Invasion

 

hunting mice

Well Dressed Mouse Hunters Standing Next to their Catch

Australia is known for many things, including creepy crawly creatures that will kill you, and out of control wildlife breeding beyond its natural limits because of a lack of natural predators. From rampant rabbit hordes to oppression from swarms of owls, Australia has had its share of critters running wild.

 

One of the worst of these plagues was a gigantic mice infestation that overran parts of Australia in 1913. Millions of these disgusting rodents swarmed the countryside like some sort of biblical plague, devouring crops, invading homes, and leaving behind them scenes of devastation. Most of us today, especially if we live in a clean first world home, get annoyed or in some cases scared if we see evidence of one or two mice. Usually the little fellows are shy of humans and we become aware of their existence only when we see their droppings or bite marks in boxes and other odds and ends on our closets.

But when their population reaches into the millions, they do not hide, and it is humans who must either run or fight, lest they become hunted.

Pictured here are some brave defenders of humanity who took a stand against the rodent hordes.

There must be hundreds of thousands of these mice. Note the sheers in the front of the picture, at the center of this pile of dead rodents. The sheers were used to cut off the tails from the mice so that they could be counted and turned in for a government sponsored bounty. These mice hunters were often paid in ammunition in exchange for bringing in the mouse tails.

a pile of dead rats

Not really rats, but equally disgusting: a revolting pile of dead mice

The hordes of disgusting mice were beaten back. This time the humans won.  But they will be back.

 

Christmas Shopping

christmas shoppingThrongs of Christmas shoppers fill the street on Washington Street, Boston, 1919. There must have been some really excellent sales judging from the number of people; the sidewalks are so crowded that the shoppers are spilling out onto the street, blocking traffic.

 

On the right is a Jordan Marsh Department Store and farther up the street, on the left, is a store selling Manning’s Umbrellas. These umbrellas were manufactured according to a patent granted to J.T. Manning for a folding umbrella, and were all the rage in 1919.

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