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Inventor of the Foam Finger Fuming at Miley Cyrus

Getty Images, Neilson Barnard

Just as the mothers of America have calmed down and gotten over Miley Cyrus’ outrageous performance at the MTV awards show, an unexpected celebrity has stepped forward to condemn the dance: the inventor of the foam finger!
Steve Chmelar was just 16 when he made a giant “No. 1″ hand with hardware cloth and paper mache for the Iowa high school basketball finals in 1971. He was cheering on the Ottumwa High School team when the Associated Press snagged a photo of him with his giant finger. Later, an industrial arts teacher named Geral Fauss made a similar hand with foam and sold it as a fundraiser for his school. He later founded a company and in 1979 the polyurethane hands we know and love today were introduced.

Chemlar had this to say about the use of his iconic invention:

I would say that it certainly misrepresented its intent to encourage team support. She took an honorable icon that is seen in sporting venues everywhere and degraded it… Fortunately, the foam finger has been around long enough that it will survive this incident. As for Miley Cyrus, let’s hope she can outlive this event and also survive.”

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