Forgotten Dolls

an encyclopedia of dolls and doll collecting

Teddy bears -- a classic retro toy


teddy bears

Becoming a collector of teddy bears can be a very fun and satisfying hobby. Simply enjoying your collection of teddy bears can help to improve one's quality of life. Our love for teddy bears is unconditional as evidenced by the tattered and torn, one eyed, tired looking teddy bears that are treasured by children and adults alike.

Even in the worst of conditions these plush toys still wield magical powers of love and friendship. The soft and comforting magic of teddy bears can help to alleviate anxiety and stress in children. Because of their ability to help to soothe the hearts and minds of little ones, they are sometimes used by police and firemen to soften trauma.

A brief history of teddy bears

The history of teddy bears goes back to the early 1900's, starting an enduring love affair to last for years. Stuffed bears first made an appearance in Germany around 1900. At that time, Margarete Steiff was already known locally for her stuffed animals. Margarete's nephew Richard was inspired by bears he saw at the zoo to design a jointed bear for his aunt to create.

That moveable toy bear was called 55PB. The Steiff family sold a few of the bears around Germany but they didn't see a lot of success until a man named Theodore Roosevelt got involved in the teddy bear story.

National Teddy Bear Day is 09 September!

In November 1902, President Theodore Roosevelt was in Mississippi trying to solve a border dispute. As an avid sportsman, President Roosevelt went hunting in his spare time. As the end of the hunt drew near, Roosevelt was frustrated because his fellow hunters had all made a kill but he hadn't managed one. Roosevelt's attendants cornered and clubbed an old black bear and tied him to a tree in an effort to help the president. They called Roosevelt over and encouraged him to shoot the animal. But, President Roosevelt refused because he considered it unsportsmanlike to kill an animal that was tied up in such a way.

After hearing the story of Roosevelt and the bear, Clifford Berryman of the Washington Post created a political cartoon called "Drawing the Line in Mississippi". Morris Michtom, a candy shop owner in New York saw the cartoon and decided to create a window display in his shop about it. He wrote to President Roosevelt and asked for permission to use his name in conjunction with a stuffed bear that he and his wife Rose had created.

President Roosevelt agreed and Teddy's Bear was proudly displayed in Michtom's shop window. He never intended to sell the bear so Michtom was surprised when people started requesting Teddy Bears of their own. Morris and Rose began making more bears to sell, and the popularity of Teddy Bears grew exponentially!

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