As charismatic as he is gentle, a true American legend, forever inducted into the hallows of fame -- no we’re not talking about George Clooney, it’s the humble teddy bear! The history of teddy bear for kids has much more to it than just being the greatest gift ever sold. The story of this charming toy bear begins with a history lesson itself with none other than Theodore Roosevelt as the leading man...
A look back at this stuffed toy and the history of teddy bear for kids
A long shot (or short) at fame
The history of teddy bear for kids didn’t start out as anything suitable for children. It was originally a two-hundred-pound black bear tied to a tree. On the other side of that black bear? None other than President Theodore Roosevelt who was being encouraged to shoot the bear for sport. An established hunter himself, President Roosevelt, couldn’t bear the thought (pun intended) of shooting a helpless bear and denied the opportunity to do so. The shot that never happened rang out even louder than if it did!
Teddy Bear Bobby Brown (20cmST)
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The story of President Roosevelt and the bear quickly gained traction after a political cartoonist published the story in the Washington Post. This political cartoon sparked inspiration inside a Brooklyn Candy store that Rose and Morris Michtom owned. They created the very first toy bear appropriately named after the twenty-sixth President of the United States, Theodore Roosevelt. The Michtom’s wrote to the President himself requesting permission to make the bear and name it Teddy’s Bear, so the history of teddy bear for kids goes. President Roosevelt agreed, never thinking that teddy bears would later become an American treasure. Oh, if he could see him now!
Bears and Bears and Bears! Oh my!
The Ideal Toy Company was born and the star among all ideal toys was of course a plush stuffed toy Teddy Bear. Everyone quickly fell in love with the teddy bear so much so that the history of the teddy bear for kids invention is often disputed among three countries: Britain, Germany, and America. All three countries wanted to lay claim to the cuddliest invention of all time. The invention of the famous Steiff Bear, which later adopted the Teddy Bear title, was almost simultaneously created across the Atlantic Ocean in Germany by seamstress Margarete Steiff. The bear was inspired by her nephews’ drawings of bears from the zoo. After first appearing at a German Toy Fair, an American company placed a large order for the Steiff bears and soon this created an international bear frenzy! Other companies around the globe followed suit and began creating Teddy Bears of their own.
A look forward at this stuffed toy and the history of teddy bear for kids
Still a star
The history of the teddy bear continues until modern day. Today, the cultural icon is one-hundred and seventeen years old and a firm favourite for baby soft toys. On the sixtieth birthday of the bear, Morris Michtom celebrated his iconic invention by giving one of the original bears to the children of one of Theodore Roosevelt’s grandsons. The arrangement was that they would pose with the bear for a photograph and then it would be given to the Smithsonian, but the children loved the bear so much they couldn’t bear to be separated from it! So, the cuddly addition to the Smithsonian was delayed. However, he eventually went on his way in the winter of 1964.
The history of teddy bear for kids hasn’t lost any traction except for the fact that this adorable stuffed toy isn’t just for children anymore. The toy bear is one of the top four most collectable items in the United States and more than two-thousand people worldwide make their living selling this adorable friend to all at speciality teddy bear stores. On top of that, five-thousand artists fill the hearts of people worldwide by making their living building custom bears.
Take one home
The Soft Toy Shop is one of those two-thousand people and stores creating and giving life-long cuddly friends to both adults and children in the form of a soft, enchanting bear. The Soft Toy Shop is home to one of the largest collections of affordable, high quality, and lovable teddy bears and other animal soft toys. Our bears come in all colours, shapes, and sizes. There are even personalised teddy bears available to make a unique gift that much more special for the recipient. So Teddy’s bear can sport your name and become your bear, instead of Theodore Roosevelt’s! The Teddy Bear has come a long way since that two-hundred-pound black bear tied to a tree but its message will always remain a universal symbol of love. Each bear may be different but giving the gift of a cute, soft, plush teddy bear is always the same across any generation: pure happiness!