| Ear Muffs
For Christmas in 1873 Chester
Greenwood of Farmington, Maine, received a new pair of ice skates. Since the
nearby Sandy River was frozen over, he had to go try them out. But it was
cold and his ears were nearly frostbitten. So Chester came home with an
idea. He took a piece of foot-long baling wire and bent each end to form a
loop. Then he asked his grandmother if she would sew a piece of fur over
each loop. When that was done he bent the wire to fit over his head and had
the first ear muffs.
other people saw how he was keeping his ears warm, they wanted ear muffs
also. Baling wire does not hold its shape very well so he figured out how to
use an adjustable steel band instead. When he was 19 he took his idea to the
U S Patent office where Patent #188,292 was issued for ear mufflers. He set
up a factory in Farmington to manufacture them. In its peak year 400,000 ear
muffs were made.
went on to obtain over 100 patents for a variety of ideas. In 1977 Maine
declared December 21, approximately winter solstice day each year, to be
Chester Greenwood Day in his honor.