Grateful Maine Town Throws Annual Parade for Earmuffs Inventor and Hometown Hero

In Depth

Winters in Maine are fucking cold. Hence it’s a fifteen-year-old resident that invented them, in 1873. And now his hometown throws him a parade every year.

The Associated Press reports on the institution of Chester Greenwood Day, first established by the state legislature in 1977. Greenwood was a fairly prolific inventor and patented five of his creations, including an advertising matchbox. But it’s the earmuffs that secured his legacy. He dubbed them “Champion Ear Protectors” and sold hundreds of thousands of them.

In honor of that accomplishment, Farmington, Maine—where he created his ear-warming device, supposedly while ice-skating—holds an annual festival and parade. Specifically, an earmuff parade:

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.

If you would like to pay your respects to Chester Greenwood, the parade is tomorrow and the first Saturday of December annually. Wear your earmuffs.

Contact the author at [email protected].

Photo via AP Images.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Share Tweet Submit Pin