Since time immemorial, humankind has tirelessly attempted to perfect that ominous barnyard manikin, the scarecrow. And if these news reports from the 1930s are any indicator, that decade was a particularly febrile time for anti-corvid homunculi. The following anecdotes come to us from British Pathe (above) and old issues Popular Science (via Modern Mechanix here and here).

The greatest breakthroughs in scarecrow technology of the 1930sS

"TALKING" SCARECROW SAVES FARMERS FRUIT
When the farmer discovered that his berry patches were furnishing free meals for large flocks of crows and robins, he rigged a loudspeaker up inside his scarecrow. The scheme worked successfully so far as bird pests were concerned, and he has never been troubled with them since fixing up the "talking" scarecrow. This contrivance, however, is said to have attracted many song birds to the vicinity.

The greatest breakthroughs in scarecrow technology of the 1930sS

If live cats will scare birds away, why not use imitation cats as scarecrows? Acting on this unconventional idea, a farmer of Warwickshire, England, is decorating his property with painted likenesses of cats like those illustrated above. Stoppers from mineral water bottles supplied the eyes. Now it remains to be seen whether the birds will be terrified.

Related: How the Scarecrow from the Wizard of Oz looked, circa 1900: 1, 2