David is right about Rod Pinkston. He is about the best knowledgeable on the subject. I saw one of the original traps yesterday. I only made a handful.(Croyles actually did the welding) They were all modified with the mechanism I have now about 7 years ago.
Jim is correct that John did the welding on the first one. Later, I had Croyles make a few more. We actually copied a trap that Slim Pederson showed us and put the mechanism we were working on, on that trap design. We thought we really had something at the time. Found out later, after I had time to test that trap, and other small conventional trap designs, that the trigger was not consistent. Once the parts rusted up or the spring tension was not equal on setting, the system failed to perform 20% of the time. That was not acceptable. Several months later, after working on the same basic mechanism design, Jim called and asked to part our ways. We had an attorney draw up papers. I paid John, Croyles, Larry, and Southwest tool and Die for their work with us. I later developed what I have, and Jim developed what he has.
Some time later the first hog traps were refitted with the mechanism I have today to improve the function of the trap. I never made any more like that. The biggest reason was that I had heard about problems when deer were caught. Using a corral, they jump out if a threat approaches.
Kirk was there the second day to help finish. It was at that point that I introduced the suggestion that guillotine door traps could also be powered. I later learned that the trap caught as many as 9 piglets at one time. When I was there I saw it catch 2 hogs at once that were 65 pounds.
I was there every day. For the seventeen days that Jim came down.
After I applied for my first patent, when I first started Advanced Trap, I was in the shop. I told My help I was not going to leave that day until I figured out how to make a "practical" powered Guillotine door. I set a guillotine door trap in the middle of the shop floor and pulled up a chair. That was 10 a.m. By 1:30 p.m. we had a working proto-type. Two weeks later I applied for the patent I have now.