Ear muffs are so popular that today even snowmen wear them! They come in many different warm materials such as fur, fleece, velvet and much more. In addition, they can be found in lots of different styles and colors and are made for young children, kids, teens and adults of all ages. They are stylish, practical and warm which is why they are a necessary winter accessory today.
However, like every practical invention, ear muffs have not been around forever. In the year 1873, a 15 year old boy Chester Greenwood of Maine loved to ice skate. However, his ears got so cold he had to go in and warm up all the time. He was fed up and tired of suffering in the cold northern winter so he went ahead and invented the first pair of ear muffs. They consisted of two circles made of beaver fur lined with velvet and sewn onto a wire loop frame by Chester’s grandmother. Chester was extremely proud of himself because while all his friends had to go in and warm up while ice skating, his ears were kept warm at all times.
Over the years and with much experimentation, Greenwood learned to attach the earmuffs to a flexible spring-steel band that could be coiled to fit in a pocket. Due to the demand, Greenwood opened a small factory in his hometown in 1877 and in 1936 (the year before his death) his factory produced 400,000 ear muffs. Today, thanks to Chester Greenwood, there are hundreds if not thousands of different kinds and styles of ear muffs to help keep our ears warm. Of course, in this generation some of them are even made as head phones so that you can still listen to music when wearing your earmuffs.
So next time you put on those earmuffs and brace the cold weather don’t forget to give thanks to Chester Greenwood for his brilliant invention. Apparently, in 2007, Maine held a parade to celebrate his invention and 130 years of warm ears, so you can just imagine how much they made a difference to some people’s lives. And hey, next time you feel like you can use and extra something that hasn’t been invented yet, give it a try – you never know what could come out of it….