I enjoy the history of the teddy bear, just as much as I enjoy the teddies themselves. I personally believe that they were meant to be, just because of the way they came about.
Same Ideas at the Same Time
One of the reasons that I believe the teddy bear was meant to be was because two manufacturers from two different parts of the world were working on developing them at the same time. Now, competitors will indeed try and outdo each other, but this was a little ironic. In the United States, Morris Michtom was in the process of producing the teddy bear, while at the same time in Germany, Richard Steiff was doing the same thing.
How the Teddy Bear Got Its Name
For those who don’t know much about the teddy, he was actually named after the United States President, Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt. But, the name didn’t come about just because he was the president. There was an occurrence which took place that led to this. It all happened on a bear hunting trip way back in 1902. Mr Roosevelt was on this excursion. Members of the party tied a bear to a tree and attempted to encourage Mr Roosevelt to shoot it. He could not bring himself to do this, as he didn’t believe this was the proper way to hunt. However, he did order the bear to be killed, so it wouldn’t suffer.
Shortly after, when the hunting story was heard about, a cartoon was made of the incident. This was the inspiration for Morris Michtom to make a teddy bear, as he was a toymaker. He immediately went about this and sought permission from Mr Roosevelt to name his creation “teddy bear”.
This is where it gets even more enjoyable. The German toy firm, Steiff, was not aware of the production of this US teddy bear. They went ahead and created a stuffed bear.
The Early Versions
Those of us who have had the wonderful pleasure of owning a teddy bear, are used to the soft cuddly whimsical looks of them. The early versions were not quite as cute, because they were designed to look like real bears. Their noses were extended, and they had small beady eyes. Compared to the large-eyed teddies which we all fell in love with, there was quite a difference. Although I have to admit, any teddy bear in any style, shape or form, can win over my heart.