1. Who inspired
the first Teddy Bear?
2. What was the name of
Morris Michtom's company?
3. What is the history of
the Steiff jointed bear?
4. When was the teddy bear
first called a "Teddy Bear?"
5. Why is the Teddy Bear
6. Why do we love our Teddy
Bears so much?
7. How did Winnie-the-Pooh
1. Who inspired the first
President Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt inspired the first Teddy
Although the Steiff Company
in Germany produced a jointed stuffed bear in 1902, the First
Teddy Bear was made by Rose and Morris Michtom with the influence
of Teddy Roosevelt and Clifford Berryman. Here's why:
On November 14, 1902, then-President
Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt went to Mississippi to settle a border
dispute between Mississippi and Louisiana. While there, he went
on a hunting trip. The other members of the hunting party tied
a black bear cub to a tree for President Roosevelt to shoot, but
Roosevelt refused to harm the defenseless bear. The next day,
political cartoonist Clifford Berryman, drew a cartoon
showing President Roosevelt refusing to hurt the helpless bear.
The cartoon's caption "Drawing the Line in Mississippi" refers
to both the border dispute settlement and the hunting incident.
This cartoon sparked the imagination
of the country and of a shopkeeper in Brooklyn, New York. The
shopkeeper, Morris Michtom, asked his wife, Rose, to make two
plush stuffed bears for display in his shop's window. The popularity
of the plush bears stuffed with excelsior and adorned with black
shoe buttons for eyes quickly captivated the nation.
To combine the stuffed bear
phenomenon with Teddy Roosevelt, Morris Michtom asked the president
for permission to call these stuffed bears "Teddy's Bear." Roosevelt
said yes, and the Teddy Bear was born.
You may ask, "Wouldn't there
still be stuffed bears without Roosevelt, Berryman, and the Michtoms?"
And the answer is yes. If Roosevelt had not refused to shoot the
innocent bear cub, if Berryman had not drawn the cartoon, if the
Michtoms had not displayed the stuffed bears, if the Michtoms
had not asked permission to call them "Teddy's Bear," or if Roosevelt
had not granted permission, there would still be stuffed bears.
However, these stuffed bears
would not be Teddy Bears. They may have been stuffed bears, jointed
bears, German bears, Giengen bears, or even Leipzid Trade Fair
bears, but they would not be known as Teddy Bears -- a name that
is as synonymous with our nation's culture as baseball and apple
was the name of Morris Michtom's company?
Ideal Novelty and Toy Company.
Morris Michtom was a shopkeeper
in Brooklyn, New York. In 1902, he and his wife, Rose, made two
stuffed bears called "Teddy's Bear" named after then-President
Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt. The "Teddy's Bear" trend took off,
and the Michtom store became the Ideal Novelty and Toy Company.
you know the Ideal Novelty and Toy Company changed
its name to the Ideal Toy Company in 1938?
is the history of the Steiff jointed bear?
At the same time the Michtoms were making
their "Teddy's Bear" in 1902, the Steiff Company of Giengen was
producing its jointed bear in Germany. Both the Michtoms and the
Steiff Company were making stuffed bears at the same time independent
of each other.
The Steiff Company was a toy
company owned by Margarete Steiff. It has been making toys since
Margarete Steiff's nephew
was Richard Steiff. After seeing performing bears at a touring
American circus, Richard had an idea to make a toy bear standing
upright. Until that time, toy bears were made standing on all
four legs. Richard was a former art student, and he went to the
Stuggart Zoo to sketch pictures of bears and bear cubs for the
new design of the bear toy.
In 1902, Ms. Steiff used her
nephew's drawings to make Steiff's new bear toy. It was jointed
like dolls, stood on two feet, and could walk upright. Did
you know the Steiff bears were the first jointed bears?
With their humped back and
long snout, the Steiff bears looked more like a real bear cub
than the "Teddy's Bear" designed by the Michtoms.
In 1903, the Steiff Company
introduced its jointed bear at the Leipzig Trade Fair. While European
buyers passed by the bear without notice, an American buyer expressed
much interest in the bear. The American buyer, knowing about the
recent trend of "Teddy's Bear" in the United States, placed an
order for 3,000 Steiff bears. By the end of the year, this order
rose to 12,000 bears.
was the teddy bear first called a "Teddy Bear?"
We know the stuffed bear began when the
Michtoms of Brooklyn, New York, and the Steiff Company of Giengen
produced the first bears independently in 1902. And we know the
Michtoms called their bear, "Teddy's Bear," and the Steiff Company
called its bear, "Bar55PB." So when did these stuffed bears become
The term "Teddy Bear" (without
the "'s") first appeared in the October, 1906, issue of Playthings
Magazine. It soon became the accepted
term. Even the Steiff Company used this term to describe its bears.
is the Teddy Bear so popular?
The Teddy Bear is the most popular plush toy, and it may even
be the most popular of all toys. Other toys have been popular
in their day -- the hula hoop, the yo-yo, the game boy -- but
none have stood the test of time.
Teddy Bears have been around
for 100 years. They were popular then, and they are popular today.
We like teddy bears for all
occasions. We place pastel pink and blue teddy bears on the outside
of baby shower gifts. We carry teddy bears holding diplomas and
wearing cap and gowns with us at high school graduations. We bring
smiling teddy bears with a nurse's hat to visit a sick friend.
We even place teddy bear bride and grooms on the tops of 4-tiered
Teddy Bears are especially
popular during holidays throughout the year. From New Year's Day
in January to Christmas Day in December, teddy bears fill up grocery
store check-out counters with their Stars and Stripes for the
4th of July and Jack-o-lantern costumes for Halloween. Some teddy
bears have a simple Pilgrim's hat or Easter bonnet. While others
sing festive songs or shout "Ho, Ho, Ho!" Whether they are red
for Valentine's Day or green for St. Patrick's Day, teddy bears
bring us joy year-round.
Why do we love our Teddy Bears so much?
Teddy Bears are cute, cuddly, and adorable. Their spark captures
the attention and imagination of young and old alike.
As kids, we love our teddy
bears as if they were real people and a member of our family.
We name them, feed them, clothe them, care for them, and take
them on all the family vacations. When our teddy bears get sick,
we nurse them back to health. When our teddy bears get dirty,
we give them a bath.
As adults, we love our aging
childhood teddy bear. When other people see our played-with and
faded teddy bear, they see something that should be thrown out.
We see our favorite childhood friend. We know this teddy bear
is a trusted companion who shares in our good times and sticks
by us through the hard times.
As kids, the first thing we
do when we get our new teddy bears is cut off the tags and introduce
them to their new family. We cannot wait to take our new friends
with us everywhere. We always go to the playground, school, and
Grandma's house together.
As adults, we are teddy bear
collectors. We find a special shelf or table in our home to carefully
display our new, clean, off-limits addition to the family. We
leave on the original tags and dare not play with them.
All people -- young, old,
male, female -- have these images. Even if a particular person
has not directly experienced these feelings, they are sure to
know someone who has.
How did Winnie-the-Pooh start?
On August 21, 1921, A.A. Milne gave his son, Christopher Robin
Milne, a teddy bear for his first birthday. Christopher named
his bear Edward Bear because Edward is the proper name for Teddy.
Milne bought Edward Bear at Harrod's in London, England. It was
made by J.K. Farnell & Co. in England.
Between 1920 and 1928, Christopher
Robin Milne received other stuffed animals. In 1926, A.A. Milne
began writing bedtime stories about his son's adventures with
his stuffed animals, including his bear who was renamed, Winnie-the-Pooh.
Thus Winnie-the-Pooh, Piglet, Tigger, Eeyore, Kanga, Roo, Owl,
Rabbit, and the 100 Acre Wood were born.
you know the 100 Acre Wood is based on the Ashdown
Forest? It is located near Milne's home in southern England.
Today, Christopher's original
stuffed animals (Winnie-the-Pooh, Piglet, Tigger, Eeyore, and
Kanga) are on permanent display in the Central
Children's Room at the Donnell Library Center,
part of The New York Public Library.
you know Winnie-the-Pooh is 18" high? Eeyore is the
biggest of the stuffed animals (25"), and Piglet is the smallest
(4-1/2"). Roo, the baby kangaroo
stuffed animal, is not on display at the New York Public Library
because it was lost in an apple orchard in the 1930's.
you know the name Winnie-the-Pooh came from a combination
of a bear and a swan? "Winnie" was the name of a black bear in
the London Zoo in the 1920's. Winnie had been the mascot for the
Canadian Army's Winnipeg regiment. "Pooh" was the name of a swan
in A.A. Milne's book, "When We Were Very Young."