History of Teddy Bears
Teddy bears all started because Theodore Roosevelt refused to shoot a bear, which in the end got him the nickname “Teddy.” Yes, it is true there were toys that had bears on them, but they did not actually have stuffed teddy bears before 1902. There are a few different stories to what actually happened, but it sounds like Theodore Roosevelt went out hunting and never ended up shooting anything. The men he was with wanted him to take something back for his troubles and found a small bear cub and told him to shoot it. I’m not sure if he didn’t want to shoot it because it had no mother, was injured, and tied to a tree or just because of its size. When he refused to shoot the bear they all joked about it, one man even drew a cartoon of “Teddy” with a bear cub.
The interest in teddy bears would become very popular in society. A small shopkeeper, Morris Michtom, recognized the potential income and displayed them in his store window. Mooris sent the president one of the bears his wife made and asked the president if he could name them “Teddy’s Bears.” The bears were unlike any toy bears that had been made; this one was cute and didn’t frighten away children. Once accepted, he started designing the teddy bears in a new shop called the, “Ideal Toy Company.
It is not known who actually created the very first teddy bear, but we do know that it was Mooris that asked permission. Clear over in Germany was another company making teddy bears. “Steiff Company” was creating bears that actually looked like the real thing. The owner, Margarete Steiff had a nephew that would sketch pictures of bears at the Stuttgart Zoo and show them to her, this inspired her to create her own. Her creations wouldn’t be discovered by the Americans until 1903 at a toy fair, which had them ordering over 3000 bears. One can see why teddy bears became so famous, if it wasn’t for their cute expressions and cuddliness I think they would’ve gone extinct. Today, you might see teddy bears in a bedroom, store window, commercials, cartoons or even in books. Teddy bears are everywhere and it’s all because of one man refusing to shoot an innocent bear.
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