A lot of people think the overly-elaborate death traps that villains put heroes in are some modern invention.
Let's head back to the Golden Age, and the first appearance of perennially-failed world conqueror Per Degaton!
He's taking over the world by changing history and making all science and technology vanish (except his).
He and his gang stop off on their reign of terror to loot an insurance company vault of $1 million dollars in gold--because apparently, back in the day, All-State and Geico kept a million bucks in metal in their offices just because.
The Atom tries to stop them, but he gets sucker-punched. Time to kill him!!
Anyway, it appears that back in the day, insurance companies also built death-trap rooms just to convince folks that maybe they needed to buy insurance!
Still, it does make for elaborate death traps for captured heroes...
Vaults full of gold being robbed by time-traveling despots, death rooms...it probably is far safer to get your insurance online these days...
From All-Star Comics #35 (1947)