Thursday, July 9, 2009

The Rest of Chester's Story

Rhea asked if Chester Greenwood got a patent on those earmuffs, so I googled. This article from a site about inventors tells us about it, so I thought I'd pass it on. You know how it is - it's a teacher thing. We can't just know something but have to tell others about it. It's a blessing and a curse, depending on which end of it you're on.

So, Charlie, did you know that about Farmington's being the earmuff capital of the world? Have you been to the parade? Perhaps this could be a Dust Bunny field trip. Al, I'm sure this helps with your fitting into life in Maine. I'll stick with my Sonicare instead of that steel tooth rake. Yikes!
Chester Greenwood was born in Farmington, Maine in 1858. A grammar school dropout, he invented earmuffs at the age of 15 (1873). While testing a new pair of ice skates, he grew frustrated at trying to protect his ears from the bitter cold. After wrapping his head in a scarf, which was too bulky and itchy, he made two ear-shaped loops from wire and asked his grandmother to sew fur on them. He patented an improved model with a steel band which held them in place and with Greenwood's Champion Ear Protectors, he established Greenwood's Ear Protector Factory. He made a fortune supplying Ear Protectors to U.S. soldiers during World War I. He went on to patent more many other inventions. In 1977, Maine's legislature declared December 21 "Chester Greenwood Day" to honor a native son and his contribution to cold weather protection.

Farmington, Maine, is now the Earmuff Capital of the World. There is a parade that celebrates Chester's birthday the first Saturday in December, with local police cruisers in the parade decorated as giant earmuffs.

Another of Chester's inventions was the steel-tooth rake - U.S. patent #2066036, issued on December 29, 1936. Chester Greenwood accumulated over 100 patents in his lifetime.

By Mary Bellis


Berry Blog said...

Congrats on your growing followers list. Consistency pays off ( and is also hard work at times).
I think my disorder would have to do with an obsession to be right and then when I'm not, not giving a shit. A kind of hubris.
Another of your interesting questions.
xoxoxo charlie

Berry Blog said...

there ya go, I commented on the wrong post again.

Farmington as earmuff capital is news to me. If there's anybody rich up there, they're in hiding. Although Maine supposedly has the highest per capita of rich people in the country. Now THAT's ironic for such a poor state. But our woods are full of hidden luxury estates. On the other hand I have friends with a cottage, one room-unfinished, on a lake that is valued at a quarter million. anything on the water anywhere in Maine is worth a fortune.
Farmington also produces the best teachers around. they evolved from the old "Normal schools" and are part of the U of M system for some time now.Their student teachers are among the most professional and dependable we get.And when they join the profession, tend to last a long time.