Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Today's book pick is from 1898

Manybooks is offering a free book from 1898 called Full Revelations of a Professional Rat-catcher After 25 Years' Experience, by Ike Matthews. This short tome is sure to make wonderful fireplace reading for the whole family.

The damage Rats can do to property, commodities, etc., is almost incredible. I have had so many examples of this that I scarcely know which to submit as illustration. I think the worst case I have seen was where they gnawed a hole half way through a 2−1/4 inch lead pipe, and often I have known them to bite through a one−inch lead pipe. The worst damage is done when they get under the flag floors of cottage houses out of the drains. They scratch the soil from beneath the flags, which then sink, and the consequent stench from the drains is abominable, jeopardising the health of the tenants. I have seen a great many of these cases in the poorer parts of Manchester. The damage the Rats will do in the silk and similar trades, to the goods of merchants, or in the grocery business, is enormous, and not so much by reason of what they actually eat as by what they carry away, which is often ten times as much as they eat. I have often proved this when ferreting at a wholesale grocery warehouse. When we have taken up the boards between the laths and plaster we have found the ceiling almost full of lump sugar, nuts, candles, etc., which have been there for years, hoarded by the Rats. Now, this all means heavy loss, and that is why I say that any business man so suffering ought to engage the services of a professional Rat−catcher once a year in order to keep the Rats down, and catch as many as possible before they begin breeding.


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