They've been around forever, and I'm sure you've worn a pair over the course of your lifetime to warm a certain part of your body that for some reason gets colder than others.

In 1873 at the age of 15, Chester Greenwood of Farmington, Maine, came up with an ingenious solution to keep ears warm in the chilly Maine winters and revolutionize winter apparel: earmuffs.

We've all been outside in the winter and been reasonably comfortable (even if not completely bundled up), with the exception of a couple of body parts. From personal experience, I'm referring to the nose and the ears.

Greenwood was frustrated with his ears getting frostbitten during the harsh Maine winters, and he set on a journey to find a practical and effective solution and he nailed it. To be fair, we should probably give some credit to his grandmother. According to the Washington Post, he asked her to sew little flannel pads or beaver fur (depending on who you ask) onto the circular ends of a wire ring that he would wrap around his head.

As you can imagine, his friends made fun of him, but soon realized that this silly look was combatting a real problem. Soon, everybody that was teasing was now wearing them.

In 1873, he filed a patent for his invention, which featured a simple yet brilliant design.

Not only was it an effective way to keep ears warm, it was also a helpful assistant for people that were concerned with messing up their hair. The earmuffs quickly gained popularity quickly. His creation was not only practical but also adjustable, making it suitable and comfortable for people of all ages (and all head-sized).

Back to that other part of the body that always seems to get cold, sometimes so cold that it starts leaking. I had to research "nose warmers" and yes, they do exist, but they look as ridiculous as you might think.

It's pretty impressive to see that a 15-year-old came up with a solution to a local problem that quickly transformed into a global winter accessory, used regularly by people around the world. Another instance reminding us that the simplest solutions can have a major impact.

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