In Homer's renowned poem The Odyssey, the titular protagonist saved people from a certain demise with the help of an old version of earplugs. When Odysseus' ship navigated near the island of the Sirens, the crafty hero dictated his men to stick beeswax in their ears and tie him to the ship's mast so he can hear the Sirens' amazing yet dangerous song for himself. While the adventure is fictional, using beeswax during those times to shield one's ears isn't.
Several societies around the world have since used earplugs constructed from materials such as silver, cotton, ivory, wood, and clay. These were often adorned with tassels or inscriptions. Just how helpful these earplugs were in shutting out sound and other foreign things is unknown. Two things can be stated though: (1) A ton of people used them; and (2) They probably weren't cozy to start with.
Several centuries later, multiple names in the earplug business turned up. These included Bathers' (1910), Elliott (1912), Baum (1920), and Leight (1948). The earplugs from each of these providers had varied mechanisms to protect and remain inside the ears.
Moldable pure silicone ear plugs were invented in 1962 from the accidental encounter of a couple and an old pharmacist. The pharmacist owned McKeon Products, Inc., a firm that produced only one sort of item: earplugs made from moldable clay mixture. McKeon Products was sold to a couple named Ray and Cecilia Benner, who created earplugs made from silicone, which kept out water in addition to sound.
Likewise, the credit for the invention of foam ear plugs in 1972 goes to Ross Gardner. The padding used for headphones was the influence for this idea. These earplugs are made of either polyurethane or polyvinyl chloride (PVC). These are the best ear plugs for people who need to have ear defense briefly or ought to shut out sound up to 25 decibels.
Currently, you'll see foam, silicone, and flanged earplugs available, which may or may not be disposable. The best earplugs for you depend on matters such as function, the number of decibels the earplugs can minimize, the earplug material, and others. If you're a swimmer who plans to invest in earplugs, go over the article on ent.about.com/od/preventionandriskfactors/f/How-To-Choose-The-Right-Earplugs-To-Prevent-Swimmers-Ear.htm to advise you.
Throughout the Years: The Evolvement of Ear Plugs