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Behind the Earmuff

Chester Greenwood was freezing. It was March of 1873 and Chester was testing out a new pair of ice skates. The 15 year-old was getting frustrated because he couldn't keep his ears warm from the bitter cold. He tried wrapping a scarf around his head but it was too bulky and itchy. Besides, who can skate with a scarf tied around their head?

Earmuffs - The Idea is Born

To solve his problem Chester made two ear shaped loops from wire and asked his grandmother to sew beaver fur and cloth on them. Over the years his new invention, the earmuff, improved - a steel band was added, it became adjustable and tiny hinges were added so it would fit in pockets. Eventually Chester had his own factory, Greenwood's Ear Protector Factory. He made a fortune providing ear protectors to US soldiers during World War I.

Earmuffs - An Outstanding Invention

The grammar school dropout invented over 100 products during his lifetime. Some of them are the wide bottom kettle, the spring steel rack, a folding bed, a shock absorber that led to today's airplane landing gear and bearings to keep wheels from being yanked off. The Smithsonian Institution named Chester one of America's 15 outstanding inventors.

Earmuffs - The Celebration

The town of Farmington, Maine, where Chester was born, has an annual holiday to honor the inventor. December 21st is Chester Greenwood Day and people all over the State of Maine join in the celebration. Farmington has a parade on the first Saturday in December and everyone from kids to dogs show up wearing earmuffs. He might have invented over 100 products but Chester will always be remembered for inventing the earmuffs when he was 15.

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