Earmuffs for Everyone!: How Chester Greenwood Became Known as the Inventor of Earmuffs

by Meghan McCarthy

The subtitle of this blithe, informative offering is not “How Chester Greenwood... read more

The subtitle of this blithe, informative offering is not “How Chester Greenwood Invented Earmuffs” but rather “How Chester Greenwood Became Known as the Inventor of Earmuffs.” It is an important distinction, as McCarthy’s lively narrative makes clear, not only to the history of earmuffs but also to understanding history in general: A lot of truth gets simplified or blurred as it falls through the funnel of time. McCarthy details the history of earmuffs, and it turns out Chester didn’t invent them; he dramatically improved them. He was also the one who got a patent for “ear-mufflers.” (What is a patent? McCarthy explains.) It’s for these reasons that he became known as their inventor. Well, that and the annual Chester Greenwood Day in Maine, created in the 1970s by a man who made up stories about Chester to bolster the cause. In the end, McCarthy notes that improving an invention can sometimes make all the difference. (Just ask Thomas Edison.) Humorous illustrations accompany the text, and a terrific author’s note details more about Greenwood, patents, and McCarthy’s research. (Ages 6–9)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2016

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