Saturday, April 2, 2011

The TEDDY BEAR story

Who started it all?
(The TEDDY BEAR story)

The 26th president of the United States, Theodore Roosevelt  is the person responsible for giving the teddy bear his name. On November 14, 1902, Roosevelt was helping settle a border dispute between Mississippi and Louisiana.  During his spare time he attended a bear hunt in Mississippi.   Through  the hunt, Roosevelt came upon a wounded young bear and commanded the mercy killing of the animal. The Washington Post ran a editorial cartoon created by the political cartoonist Clifford K. Berryman that illustrated the event.   The cartoon was called "Drawing the Line in Mississippi" and depicted both state line dispute and the bear hunt. At first Berryman drew the bear as a fierce animal, the bear had just killed a hunting dog.   Later, Berryman redrew the bear to make it a cuddly cub. The cartoon and the story it told became popular and within a year, the cartoon bear became a toy for children called the teddy bear.

from Archives of American Art

Who made the first toy bear called teddy bear?
By Mary Bellis, Guide

Well there are several stories, below is the most popular one:   Morris Michtom made the first official toy bear called the teddy bear. Michtom owned a small novelty and candy store in Brooklyn, New York. His wife Rose was making toy bears for sale in their store. Michtom sent Roosevelt a bear and asked permission to use the teddy bear name. Roosevelt said yes. Michtom and a company called Butler Brothers, began to mass-produce the teddy bear. Within a year Michtom started his own company called the Ideal Novelty and Toy Company. However, the truth is that no one is sure who made the first teddy bear.

the original Teddy bear can be found at the National Museum of Natural History

A man named Morris Michtom and his wife created a pair of stuffed bears to put in their shop window. They were an instant hit. With permission from President Roosevelt, they were given the name "Teddy's" Bears.

The shop became the Ideal Novelty and Toy company in 1907. That in turn became The Ideal Toy Company in 1938.

Before the advent of the upright teddy bears, the Steiff toy company of Germany, had produced stuffed bears on all fours. They were mounted on a base with wheels to be pulled around. At about the same time, the Michtoms created the first teddy bears, the Steiff company was making their  own version in Germany in 1902.

Richard Steiff, the nephew of the Steiff owner Margarete, went to a The Stuttgart Zoo and drew up plans for the new upright teddy bears. Steiff bears are often considered more realistic, having humps on their backs.

Although teddy bears are both jointed and not jointed, the very first jointed ones were created by The Steiff Company. The bears were not popular when they were first created by Steiff, but with the success of The Michtoms bears, a New York wholesaler named Hermann Berg was attending a toy show in Leipzig. He purchased a large shipment of the Steiff bears to import to the United States.

From there other companies began to create their own versions of the increasingly popular "teddy's bears". The name was soon shortened to the now used " Teddy Bear".

In recent years collectible bears have sold for astronomical prices at auctions. In 1989 a Steiff bear sold for $88,000 in a Sotheby's London auction.

Not to be outdone by the 1989 auction, more recent auctions have reportedly sold teddy bears for even more exorbitant prices.

The most expensive recently created bear, is also one made by the Steiff company. It is called The 125 Carat Teddy Bear. The fur is made with raw silk, mohair and real gold threads attached by hand. The eyes are made with 18kt gold imbedded with 20 small diamonds and pupils made of sapphires. The mouth is made of gold, as are the anniversary tag around its neck and the trademark Steiff ear tag. There were only 125 produced in this limited edition of teddy bears.

What was claimed to be the biggest bear collection in the world was owned by The Teddy Bear Museum in Stratford-upon-Avon. It consisted of about 2,000 bears. Some of them are valuable British and German, bears worth thousands of pounds. The collection was put up for auction in 2007, by Christie's auction house, when the owners could no longer run the museum. The Volpps, the people who purchased the $88,000 bear at auction, profess to own more than 5,000 teddy bears.

Perhaps the most famous teddy bear is Winnie The Pooh. The original Winnie the Pooh teddy bear was made by the British company Farnell in 1921. After visits to see the then famous live bear in The London Zoo, the bear was renamed Winnie.

Teddy bears are a source of comfort and warmth. They are even used by police to help calm children who have been traumatized by accidents and crimes.

Teddy bears are now produced by companies in many parts of the world. They are treasured by adults and children alike.

Most Expensive Teddy Bear
(From the most expensive journal)

The German teddy bear company, Steiff is responsible for the production many expensive collectible bears and also the most expensive teddy bear ever made. The Steiff company claims to have made the world’s first teddy bear and is has made this golden bear to commemorate its 125th anniversary.

The expensive bear has a mouth made of solid gold and fur made from gold thread. Topping off the teddy bear are jeweled eyes featuring sapphire pupils with diamond irises.

the most expensive Teddy bear

If you or your spoiled daughter simply “must have” the world’s most expensive teddy bear, you might have to search hard for the purchase. Only 125 of the collectible edition bears were produced, making them not just hard to afford, but also hard to find. These bears came with a price tag of 62,446 Euros (about $84,000 USD). But you don’t have to empty your bank account just yet, Steiff toys makes a wide variety of teddy bears that are more affordable than anniversary edition and will still make you feel like a teddy bear connoisseur

a few of my most treasured teddy bears


  1. Congratulations on your first post. Keep it up!!!

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