I spent a day recently in Madison with a bunch of curious and energetic fourth graders, sharing with them what I have learned about Connecticut inventors and inventions. I bring a number of objects with me as part of the presentation, some familiar, some not. I also bring a few patent drawings to show as we talk about the patent application process and the range of items that have been invented in Connecticut. By far the most popular one, the image that elicits much laughter, snickers and general uproar among kids in the classroom is the one for the “Improvement in Mustache-Guards” from Charles Barrows of Willimantic circa 1878:

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Kids just find moustaches hilarious. They hold their index finger above their lips, finagle a pencil to look like a stash etc. The idea to them of an invention to keep a moustache clean and dry is just completely crazy. But in a fun, 4th grade kid kind of crazy way. And it leads to great discussions about facial hair styles throughout history including who has the best beard/moustache…..my vote of course goes to Connecticut native John Brown.

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So all this has inspired me. I annually grow a winter beard. As the weather gets warmer it gets trimmed, reshaped into a goatee and then usually cut off by summer. This spring though I am going with the stash. Maybe a fu manchu style? Maybe this look donned by Pre? Of course I won’t have the wind blowin through my hair but over my bald head……

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