January 30, 2019

Brrr! Patents for Cold Weather

By Bryan K. Wheelock, Principal

With temperatures in parts of the U.S. lower than we have seen in decades, it seems appropriate to recognize the inventors who devoted their time and energy to helping us brave the cold winter weather.

First and foremost is Chester Greenwood, inventor of ear muffs, whose U.S. Patent No. 188,292, issued March 13, 1877:

Chester Greenwood’s patent for “ear-mufflers.”

Our thanks also go to Joel Craddick, whose U.S. Patent No. 1,394,810 issued October 1921 on an “Electrothermal Garment” — perhaps the earliest rendition of electrically heated clothing.

Joel Craddick’s patent on an electrothermal garment.

Inventors’ work on protecting us from the cold continues to this day, and John Elson, Kerrie Gath, Clay Maranville, and Victoria Schein, were issued U.S. Patent No. 10,143,043 on a “Heated Seat Belt.” While I prefer to wear a very thick jacket when I am backing out of my driveway at 1° F, and won’t be able to tell whether or not the seat belt is warm, I can still appreciate their thinking of us.

John Elson, Kerrie Gath, Clay Maranville, and Victoria Schein’s U.S. Patent on a Heated Seat Belt.