A Quick History Lesson: The Teddy Bear

teddy bear

Teddy bears are a great gifts of love, toys for children, and companions for people all over the world. They have inspired countless works of literature and endured over a century of new gadgets and toys being introduced for children. They are timeless friends that spark a little imagination in us. So how did they come to be?

You may be surprised to learn that the term “teddy bear” has a political origin. Back in 1902, former United States president Theodore Roosevelt (commonly known as “Teddy”) went on a bear hunting trip with Governor Andrew H. Longino and some other hunters. During this particular trip, Roosevelt had trouble locating a bear, while the other men found this to be an effortless task. After an exhausting chase, Roosevelt’s assistants managed to secure a black bear, tying it to a tree in order to give Roosevelt the opportunity to shoot it. He refused to shoot the bear, claiming that this practice was unsportsmanlike. The news of this event spread rapidly throughout the country. Articles told the tale of the big game hunter, Theodore Roosevelt, refusing to shoot a bear! Imagine that!

Giant Teddy Bear

This event even inspired a lighthearted political cartoon by Clifford Berryman. His cartoon appeared in the Washington Post, where Morris Michtom, the owner of a candy shop in Brooklyn, saw it and came up with a brilliant idea. He decided to create a stuffed toy bear and dedicate it to the president who refused to shoot the black bear on that fateful day. He called it “Teddy’s Bear” and the rest is history. He had to ask permission from Roosevelt before mass producing the teddy bear, of course. Roosevelt was all for the cuddly toy and even used one as a mascot in his re-election campaign.

Build a Bear Workshop Bearemy Teddy Bear 15 in

Teddy Bears became a quick success. Women and children alike fell in love with their new friends, even though early teddy bears were scarily realistic. They came equipped with extended snouts and beady little eyes. They were even covered in mohair fur! These days, teddy bears take on a more cartoon inspired look. They have big eyes and small noses to enhance their cute factor, and are generally made of synthetic fur.

Build a Bear Teddy Bear

The stuffed toy industry became popular with the rise of the teddy bear, but it hasn’t stopped there. A wide variety of stuffed animals are now available on the market, from the stuffed lion to the stuffed giraffe. You can even find stuffed fish! There are a variety of sizes to choose from, ranging from small to giant. There truly are limitless possibilities when it comes to choosing a stuffed friend to keep you company.

Build a Bear Workshop Rainbow Glitter Teddy Bear 17 in

The rise of the teddy bear has been an exciting journey with a long lasting impact. The stuffed plush business is a billion dollar industry and has inspired many great books and television shows alike. It’s easy to fall in love with these adorable toys, and it’s easy to see why they have become such long lasting companions to children and adults all over the world.