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Ideal Bear - 1905 - Copyright Linda Mullins - The Teddy bear Men

Bears have always exerted attraction on people in spite of the threat they represented.
Cave men constructed it in the guise of clay statues and drew bear hunting scenes on cave walls.Indians believed in a bear gad and they tried to calm him with savage dances.

In the middle of the nineteen century there was "papier-mâché" teddy bears covered with fur which had four-wheels and also decorated with nose ring.

In Paris, there was at this period, a craftman who made teddy bears : his name was Nicolas SCHANNE. His son wrote, in 1887, a book about his father's teddy bears fabric.


Theodore Roosevelt by Carol Stewart to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the teddy bear - © Linda Mullins


Historians date teddy bears birth from the beginning of the twentieth century, but they don't agree about the circumstances of their origin.

For some historians, their origin is linked to the teddy bear offered to Théodore Roosevelt, a former president of the United States, after an unsuccessful hunting trip .

During this hunting, only one bearcub was captured and presented to the president who refused to shoot it saying "I will not have the heart to look my children full in the face"


Clifford Berryman - © Linda Mullins- The Teddy Bear Men Clifford Berryman, drawer of The Washington post,will caricature the scene.

Drawing of Clifford Berryman - © Harvard college Library


In 1903, Morris Michtom, a russian immigrant living in Brooklyn, decided to market teddies

This wellknown teddybear all around the world would come from the president nickname "Teddy".It was a promessing business, and the legend says that he sent a Teddybear as a gift to the white house to ask the president the permission to name it "Teddy".

The president would have answered "I don't believe that my name would help you for your bear, but anyway, I give you the permission to use it"



For other historians the teddybear origin is german, thanks to Margaret Steiff's nephew.

She made a dress maker, polio victim who created cushions with elephant forms.She was well known at the Leipzig fair, in 1893..


Margarete Steiff - Picture celebrating the 150th anniversary of her birth - © Linda Mullins


Her young nephew who fell in love with teddy bears, created the brand Steiff Teddy bears, and was ready to introduce them in fair in 1903.
Consequently, historians agree on onepoint : birth date of Teddy Bears : 1903.

It was difficult for Steiff to have the same place it had before the first world war. German toy makers had to lower their prices. United Kingdom preserved its production of teddy bears.The most known fabric was probably Merrythought founded in 1930.



Because of the two world wars, many teddy bears fabrics disappeared.

Teddy bears fabricated between 1955 and 1970 were soft and plump but cheap and second rate quality.

1980 was the beginning of a fascinating period for Teddybears. One more time; Margarete Steiff was predominating. Around 1982, a lot of american people fell in love with teddybears fabrication.

Even though all bears presented an interest, some of them are more and more rare because they are few.

Therefore 2003 was the centenary year of the first Teddybear.



It's needless to say why teddybears are so special. Teddybears have been so special during the lost hundred years.

No other animal has inspired so manny histories : love and tenderness tales, honor,bravery and care for the others.

But it doesn't matter if it's rare or not. Price doesn't matter when it comes to loving a bear.


Creation date : 24/10/2007 : 15:54
Last update : 08/04/2015 : 10:35
Category : TEDDY BEARS - Their history
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