"It's a wolftrap. Number four and a half Newhouse"

The No. 4 1/2 or 'Newhouse Special Wolf Trap' was first produced in 1893 and soon became the trap of choice for most of the Southwest’s wolf trappers. Weighing 5 1/4 pounds with a jaw spread of 8 3/4 inches, it's understandable why Billy mistakes it for a bear trap.

 

Illustration of 4/2 Newhouse Wolftrap
Public DomainIllustration of No. 4 1/2 Newhouse Special Wolf Trap - Credit: A. R. Harding

 

Sewell Newhouse
Public DomainSewell Newhouse - Credit: A. R. Harding

It was named after the 19th century trap manufacturer Sewell Newhouse. In 1849 Newhouse and his family joined the Oneida Community, a group of religious Perfectionists who adhered to a principle they called ‘Bible Communalism’ and advocated eugenics. Under the guidance of Newhouse, the Oneida Community began a successful trapmaking venture in 1852 and became a major trap producer. 

 

 

Newhouse traps - all sizes
Public DomainNewhouse traps - Credit: A. R. Harding