Can you believe that ear muffs were not around until the late 19th century? It is such a simplistic yet ingenious little design, but it took a kid’s imagination to think it up. Ear muffs were the brainchild of 15-year old Chester Greenwood. His inspiration – he hated his ears getting cold when he went ice skating in the Maine winter. He was granted a patent in 1870 and went on to make a fortune by providing “Greenwood’s Champion Ear Protectors” to soldiers in World War I.