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Shannon Bryan

mainetoday.com editor Shannon Bryan has a fondness for Maine’s peculiar goings on. And helmet cams. There’s definitely a fondness for helmet cams.   Since she arrived in Maine from the Midwest seven years ago, it’s been her mission to experience it all firsthand – from the cardboard boat races to the paddleboard jousting tournaments. With any luck, she’ll persuade you to try it, too.

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Things to do This week





Posted: March 11, 2014

Maine’s Chester Greenwood patented “Ear-Mufflers” 137 years ago today

Written by: Shannon Bryan - mainetoday.com editor - sbryan@mainetoday.com


It’s hard to believe there was little recourse for a frigid ear back in the mid-1800s. Luckily a young man from Farmington came up with a genius idea: Ear-Mufflers (or earmuffs, as we call them today). Chester was only 15 when he came up with the idea, and the first pair of earmuffs were purportedly made by his grandmother out of beaver fur and wire.

Ears around the world were grateful for the invention, and Chester’s home town of Farmington continues to celebrate him annually on Dec 21, also known as Chester Greenwood Day. His invention was officially patented on March 13, 1877, when Chester was 19.

That makes today the 137th anniversary of the earmuff. And with all this blowing snow and those frigid gusts of wind, it’s certainly an earmuff kind of day.

Ears to you, Chester. And happy earmuff-iversary.

The patent:

Chester Greenwood’s official “Improved Ear-Mufflers” patent from 1877. He actually came up with the invention a few years earlier, at the age of 15. Patent documents via pdfpiw.uspto.gov


Stylish Mainers


It’s easy to imagine that Mainers have always worn coveralls and Bean boots, but the Saco Museum’s newest exhibit shows the clothes of fashionable Mainers from the last 200 years or so. The show, “From the Elegant to the Everyday: 200 Years of Fashion in Northern New England” opens Saturday, March 15 and runs through May 3.
1750-1950 – a new show proves we’ve always looked fabulous


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