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A General History Of the Teddy Bear
by Kelly Brown Brehm
There are many stories about how the teddy bear came to be...but, because I am an American, I prefer the American version. As the story goes in 1902, while arbitrating a border dispute between Louisiana and Mississippi, our 26th President Theodore Roosevelt, went on a bear hunting expodition. The hunt was unsuccessful. The hosts eager to please the President, captured a cub and brought it to him to shoot. Teddy Roosevelt sternly refused.

This incident was reported to the Washington Post Newspaper. Working for this newspaper was a polictical cartoonist named Clifford Berryman. Berryman decided to depic the incident in a political cartoon, called "Drawing the Line in Mississippi". This cartoon, was eventually published in newspapers across the country.

A Russian immigrant and enterpenuer, Morris Michton saw this cartoon. He and his wife Rose operated a novelty store in Brooklyn, New York. Michton asked Rose to make a bear to display in their store window to sell. Next to the bear he placed the Berryman's cartoon and a sign that read...TEDDY'S BEAR. It sold immediately. The couple continued to make more bears. Their bears soon caught the attention of a wholesaler from Butler Brothers. With the financial backing of Butler Brothers, the Michtons opened a company called The Ideal Novelty Toy Company.

Roughly at the same time, the German manufacturer Steiff was introducing a toy resembling a bear at the 1903 Leipzig Toy Fair. It was here where a big New York Toy Imported, Hermann Borgford of George Borgford & Co. ordered 3,000 Steiff bears.

It was in 1904 when Teddy Rossevelt changed his mascot from a moose to the bear for his re-election campaign.

The teddy bear craze began, it was similiar to the Beanie Baby craze of the 90's.

It was in 1906 Playthings magazine, when the words "TEDDY BEAR" was first published, "Imported Teddy Bears - Best Quality with Voice!"

In 1907 Steiff declared it the year of the bear - Bärenjahre!

By the mid 1910's there where many teddy bear companies and many types of novelty teddy bears. Teddy Bear memoribilia was being produced. There were Roller Bears, Tumbling Bears, Teddy Bear china, Electric Eye Bears. It was also very fashionable for children to have their picture taken with their teddy bear.

Then the war came...to be continued....


Since so many of you have asked for this I decided to post it.
The Teddy Bear's Picnic
If you go down to the woods today
You're sure of a big surprise
If you go down to the woods today
You'd better go in disguise

For ev'ry bear that ever there was
Will gather there for certain, because
Today's the day the teddy bears have their picnic.

Ev'ry teddy bear who's been good
Is sure of a treat today.
There's lots of marvelous things to eat
And wonderful games to play

Beneath the trees where nobody sees
They'll hide and seek as long as they please
Cause that's the way the teddy bears have their picnic

If you go down to the woods today
You'd better not go alone
It's lovely down in the woods today
But safer to stay at home

For ev'ry bear that ever there was
Will gather there for certain, because
Today's the day the teddy bears have their picnic.

Picnic time for teddy bears
The little teddy bears are having a lovely time today
Watch them, catch them unawares
And see them picnic on their holiday.

See them gaily gad about
They love to play and shout;
They never have any care;

At six o'clock their mummies and daddies,
Will take them home to bed,
Because they're tired little teddy bears.




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