Sunday, November 7, 2010

Mr. Frost's Bug Zapper

On this day in history, November 8, 1910, Mr. William H. Frost of Spokane, Washington was issued U.S. Patent No. 974,785 for his invention of an "electric insect destroyer." As shown, the invention had a number of  parallel electrically energized wires of different polarity, set up so that a flying insect passing between the wires would cause a spark to  jump the wires and zap the insect. Shown at left are wires and tensioners to keep the parallel segments taut. Also shown on the interior of the array of wires is a light bulb to attract the insects.  The charge on the wires was supplied using an induction coil and a battery. The patent specification described a flat frame and a cylindrical arrangement.