Chester Greenwood

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Chester Greenwood
Born December 4, 1858
Farmington, Maine
Died July 5, 1937
Farmington, Maine
Nationality United States
Education Public Farmington, ME schools and Wilton, ME Academy
Children Lester Clyde Greenwood, Donald Whittier Greenwood, Vodisa Emilie (Greenwood) Magoon, Clinton Whittier Greenwood
Engineering career
Institution memberships Sarah Isabel (Whittier) Greenwood
Significant projects earmuff

Chester Greenwood (December 4, 1858 - July 5, 1937) of Farmington, Maine invented the earmuff in 1873, at the age of 15.[1] He reportedly came up with the idea while ice skating, and had his grandmother sew tufts of fur between loops of wire.[2] His patent was for improved ear protectors. He manufactured these ear protectors, providing jobs for people in the Farmington area, for nearly 60 years.[1]

Chester also patented a tea kettle, a variation of the steel-toothed rake, an advertising matchbox, and a machine used in producing wooden spools for wire and thread.[1] He invented, but did not patent an umbrella holder for mail carriers.

In addition to being an inventor, Greenwood was the owner of a bicycle business, a business involving an improved heating system and was involved in the introduction of one of the first telephone systems in Farmington.[citation needed]

In 1977 the State of Maine declared December 21 to be Chester Greenwood Day. Farmington continues to celebrate "Chester Greenwood Day" with a parade on the first Saturday of December.[3][4]

In addition to his inventions, he was an accomplished machinist, an active member of the community, a business developer, a member of the Unitarian Church and a family man. His wife Isabel was a supporter of Women's Suffrage. He and Isabel were parents of four children.

The Chester Greenwood House in Farmington is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


  1. ^ a b c Maine Secretary of State Kid's Page - Famous People
  2. ^ Dec. 4, 1858: It Was Very Cold the Day Chester Greenwood Was Born
  3. ^ Farmington honors earmuff inventor today Portland Press Herald, December 4, 2010
  4. ^ Title 1, §117: Chester Greenwood Day