Fly swatters of one type or another have been with us for a long time. An early 20th century German invention involved a clockwork device of paddles attached to the end of a stick. You wound it up then pressed a small catch and the paddles whirred violently. Then you raced around trying to batter the fly to bits with your whirling paddles.
paddle image found at modern mechanix
Another early 20th century invention used a spring loaded rod that fired out a net. It was meant to catch half a dozen flies at once but like its German predecessor, it didn’t work.
My favourite is the Finger Mounted Stealth Fly Swatter patented earlier this year.
“The present invention is an insect dissuasion device that resembles a miniature fly swatter adapted to be fixed onto an end of a human finger. An insect can be spontaneously discouraged by simply flexing, slowly encroaching upon and then “flicking” the finger and the attached device of the present invention. Most insects are easily struck and swept away from one’s body by the device of the present invention, resulting in permanent removal of the particular insect. The small inconspicuous size of the finger fly swatter allows for easy cleaning if needed. The device of the present invention is so effective in the dissuasion of insects that one often welcomes the presence of an insect so that it may be discouraged. The dissuasion of a particularly energetic insect often becomes a challenging sport.”