Farmington, Maine, Throws Annual Parade for the Inventor of Earmuffs [Video]
Chester Greenwood was just fifteen years old when he invented earmuffs in 1873, known at the time as “Champion Ear Protectors.” Since then, his legacy has lived on in his hometown of Farmington, Maine, whose residents throw him a parade every year out of pure gratitude.
Chester Greenwood Day was first established by state legislature in 1977, celebrating Greenwood's most famous invention. After ice skating in the freezing Maine winter for too long, Greenwood decided he'd had enough of frozen ears. His grandmother sewed fur onto a metal wire for him, creating the first pair of earmuffs. Greenwood made improvements to the design, using a metal band instead of wire and adding adjustable hinges. His “Champion Ear Protectors” proved to be a success, selling hundreds of thousands of pairs and becoming a staple in outdoor winter fashion.
In honor of Greenwood's accomplishment, his hometown of Farmington, Maine, has held an annual parade in his honor since 1977. The Associated Press writes, "All parade participants must incorporate earmuffs in their floats. Afterward, an earmuff flag is raised at the courthouse. There’s also a polar dip on Clearwater Lake, and the town Christmas tree will be lighted.
In years past, there was a faux lockup where youngsters caught without earmuffs would be jailed, Ronald Greenwood said, but organizers aren’t going that far during this year’s festivities."
Although you missed this year's parade (held annually on the first Saturday in December), there's always next year!