PEOPLE who own mouse and rat traps which were made in Johnstone are being urged to include them in a display at the town’s history museum.

Volunteers at the museum were recently contacted by David Drummond, a renowned expert in mouse traps, who wanted to know why there wasn’t an exhibition of the devices which were made at a factory in the town’s South William Street between 1896 and 1960.

That has led to Johnstone History Society chairman Iain Murray reaching out to any residents who may have a Johnstone mouse trap hiding in their cupboard which could be included in a new display.

Mr Murray told The Gazette: “Back in the 1800s, as the town grew in size, so the number of dwellings grew.

“And, as always happens in these situations, the ubiquitous house mouse found a new and splendid environment in which to thrive.

“It is therefore not surprising to discover that the output of one of Johnstone’s factories was mostly devoted to the mass production of mouse traps.”

Mr Murray also explained that Johnstone was not unique in its search to make a killing by turning to this unusual industry.

He said: “There was a huge demand for mouse and rat traps at home and abroad and the Johnstone factory became one of the largest producers, exporting its products all over the world.

“If you have a Johnstone mouse or rat trap in a cupboard somewhere, why not donate it to Johnstone History Museum?”

The factory in South William Street was officially registered as the National Patent Co.

However, it was affectionately known by Johnstone folk as ‘the mouse trap.’

It remained the only such factory ever set up in the industrial areas of Scotland.

However, the firm suffered a serious setback in 1951 when the building was badly damaged by a fire.

A new two-storey building rose from the ashes but the company never recovered and the factory’s doors closed for the last time in 1960.

Almost a quarter of a century later, the building was converted into 14 apartments and remains in use as a dwelling place to this day.

Anyone who has a Johnstone-made mouse or rat trap they are willing to lend for the display is asked to pop into the history museum, which is open on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, from 10.30am until 4pm.

The museum is located within the Morrisons store, in Napier Street.

For more details about the museum, visit the website at