This section is from the book "The Boy Mechanic Vol. 2 1000 Things for Boys to Do", by Popular Mechanics Co.. Also available from Amazon: The Boy Mechanic, Vol2: 1000 Things for Boys to Do.
After using various means to catch the mice in my pantry, I finally decided I could not catch them in the ordinary manner. Knowing that mice are not afraid of dishes but will run all over them, while they will stay away from other things, I took a dinner plate, a bowl that held about 1 qt., a thimble, filled with toasted cheese, and arranged the articles as shown in the sketch, balancing the bowl on the thimble. When the mouse nibbled the cheese, the bowl came down on it, making it a prisoner. The whole was then dropped in a pail of water. Scald the dish and bowl before using them again to remove all traces of the mouse.
A simple mouse trap can be made of two lengths of steel wire. The spiral wire is 1/16 in. in diameter and the center wire is of larger size The trap is set by pulling out the spring and catching the ends on the bends A and B. The bait is tied on at C. When the mouse puts his head through the coils and pulls the bait, the springs are released and his head is caught between the coils.