Advertisement for a fly-catcher
Medium: Printed Text
The fly-catcher, one of many ingenious household gadgets used during the 19th century, was most necessary for protecting stored food against flies and other small insects. As the directions here explain, a sugary substance, such as ale or sugar-water, was placed inside the glass dome. Flies were attracted to this sweet syrup and, once inside, were unable to escape. By this device a whole room might be cleared of insects.
Fly-catchers even came to be seen as fashionably decorative objects as their designs became ever more elaborate. By the end of the Victorian era, their ornamental value in the home was almost as important as their practical function.