A General History Of the Teddy Bear
by Kelly Brown Brehm
There are many stories about how the teddy bear came to be...but, because I am an American, I prefer the American version. As the story goes in 1902, while arbitrating a border dispute between Louisiana and Mississippi, our 26th President Theodore Roosevelt, went on a bear hunting expodition. The hunt was unsuccessful. The hosts eager to please the President, captured a cub and brought it to him to shoot. Teddy Roosevelt sternly refused.
This incident was reported to the Washington Post Newspaper. Working for this newspaper was a polictical cartoonist named Clifford Berryman. Berryman decided to depic the incident in a political cartoon, called "Drawing the Line in Mississippi". This cartoon, was eventually published in newspapers across the country.
A Russian immigrant and enterpenuer, Morris Michton saw this cartoon. He and his wife Rose operated a novelty store in Brooklyn, New York. Michton asked Rose to make a bear to display in their store window to sell. Next to the bear he placed the Berryman's cartoon and a sign that read...TEDDY'S BEAR. It sold immediately. The couple continued to make more bears. Their bears soon caught the attention of a wholesaler from Butler Brothers. With the financial backing of Butler Brothers, the Michtons opened a company called The Ideal Novelty Toy Company.
Roughly at the same time, the German manufacturer Steiff was introducing a toy resembling a bear at the 1903 Leipzig Toy Fair. It was here where a big New York Toy Imported, Hermann Borgford of George Borgford & Co. ordered 3,000 Steiff bears.
It was in 1904 when Teddy Rossevelt changed his mascot from a moose to the bear for his re-election campaign.
The teddy bear craze began, it was similiar to the Beanie Baby craze of the 90's.
It was in 1906 Playthings magazine, when the words "TEDDY BEAR" was first published, "Imported Teddy Bears - Best Quality with Voice!"
In 1907 Steiff declared it the year of the bear - Bärenjahre!
By the mid 1910's there where many teddy bear companies and many types of novelty teddy bears. Teddy Bear memoribilia was being produced. There were Roller Bears, Tumbling Bears, Teddy Bear china, Electric Eye Bears. It was also very fashionable for children to have their picture taken with their teddy bear.
Then the war came...to be continued....