The Story of the Teddy Bear

by Angel Gifts

Every baby needs at least one teddy bear. Bears are very traditional gifts and someone usually buys a new baby in the family a bear (or two, or three…)

Teddies make the perfect baby gift because they suit a boy or a girl, they’re soft, cuddly, safe and are always fun to play with.

Have you ever wondered though who invented teddy bears? Where did they come from?

Here’s a little story about a very famous bear…

(and no I’m not going to tell you the introduction to Super Ted, although that is a good story too).

On 14th November in 1902, Theodore Roosevelt (the 26th President of the United States) was on a bear hunt in Mississippi. Roosevelt found a wounded young bear. To stop the bear suffering any further he ordered the bear be killed.

The Washington Post heard about what had happened on the bear hunt and printed a cartoon of the incident drawn by a political cartoonist called Clifford K. Berryman.

The cartoon was given the title “Drawing the line in Mississippi.”

In the first cartoon sketch Berryman drew the bear looking fierce, because it had actually killed a hunting dog which led to it becoming wounded. He later redrew it as a cute and cuddly bear.

The cartoon and story became hugely popular.

Theodore Roosevelt Teddy Bear

 Cartoon by Clifford Berryman, published in Washington Post, 1902.

Morris Michton

Morris Michton saw the cartoon and decided to make the bear into a toy.

He made a bear and put it in his window with a sign next to it saying “Teddy’s bear” – Teddy being short for Theodore Roosevelt. Michton’s bears became a big success.

The Steiff Firm

But the story doesn’t end there. Whilst this was going on, the Steiff firm in Germany  had created their own stuffed bear and were completely unaware of Michton’s Teddy Roosevelt teddy bear. It is thought both creators had no idea about the other’s bears due to such poor methods of communication between countries at that time.

Modern Teddy Bears

The first teddy bears looked like real bears with long noses and beady eyes. Later versions became the cute and cuddly bears we see today, as well as being much softer (and safer).

There are all types of bears you can buy. Big ones, small ones, every colour you can think of. You will never have any trouble finding a teddy bear as a baby gift.

There is even “build a bear” company which lets you design how you want your teddy to look (I love this idea).

Here at Angel Gifts we have several different teddy bears for baby to choose from.



Seeing as I mentioned Super Ted earlier – here’s that intro!

What about you? Have you got an old teddy bear from your childhood you still treasure?

Be Sociable, Please Share!

Leave a Comment

{ 1 trackback }

Previous post:

Next post: