Teddy Bear History
The History of the Teddy Bear
By: Nancy T On: Sat 06 of Mar., 2010 14:05 CST expires: Wed 06 of Mar., 2019 00:00 CST (793 Reads)
In 1902, US President Theodore Roosevelt, while on an un-eventful hunting trip, refused to shoot a bear that had been trapped specifically for him. He deemed it â€˜un-sportsman-like.â€™ This incident prompted political cartoonist Clifford Barryman to draw a depiction of the incident for the Washington Post. It was meant to represent booth the hunting expedition and a boundary dispute to which the president was committed to finding a resolution for. The cartoon was entitled â€œDrawing the Line in Mississippi.â€
At about the same time, a German dressmaker, crippled by polio, set about to making stuffed bears at the urgence of her nephew. 3000 of Margaret Steiffâ€™s bears were sold to an American entrepreneur at the Leipsig Toy Fair. Once in America, the bears gained enormous popularity, and with the continued influence of the Barryman cartoon bruin, the era of the teddy bear had been born.
In order to set her bears apart from the many copies that soon flooded the market, the Steiff company introduced a metal button which was attached to the ear of the companyâ€™s bears. Steiff became famous for the â€œbutton in the earâ€ concept.
It is also said that a New York novelty shop displayed a teddy bear in the window of their shop, and allegedly asked the President if they could call the bear â€œTeddyâ€™s Bear.â€ This novelty shop later became the Ideal Toy Company and production of Teddyâ€™s Bear continued.
Although there is some debate about who originated the teddy bear, both the Ideal Novelty and Toy Company, and Steiff were unquestionably pioneers in the industry, with Steiff eventually becoming the bear of choice. Steiff continues to make high end collectible bears to this day, with early bears commanding huge sums of money at auction. In 1994, $174,000.00 US was paid for the 1904 bear â€œTeddy Girl.â€
In 2002, teddy bear lovers world-wide celebrated the 100th anniversary of the teddy bear. So get that old bear out of the attic and give him a big birthday bear hug! You never know, you may be hugging a rare and valuable teddy collectible!