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Fascinating facts about the invention
of
the Teddy Bear by Morris Michtom in 1902.
TEDDY BEAR

In November of 1902, President Theodore Roosevelt was on a hunting trip in Mississippi while trying to settle a boundary dispute between Mississippi and Louisiana. Being an accomplished outdoorsman, he liked to bag big game.

However, his hunt was going poorly that day, and he couldn’t seem to find anything worthy of discharging his rifle. His staff, trying to accommodate him, captured a Louisiana black bear cub for the President to shoot, but he could not. The thought of shooting a bear that was tied to a tree did not seem sporting, so he spared the life of the black bear cub and set it free.

A famous political cartoonist for the Washington Star, Mr. Clifford Berryman, drew a cartoon titled, "Drawing the Line in Mississippi" which used the story of the President refusing to shoot the bear as a metaphor for how he dealt with the boundary dispute.

The cartoon in the Washington Star showed Teddy Roosevelt, rifle in hand, with his back turned on a cute, cowering baby bear. Morris Michtom, owner of a Brooklyn toy store, was inspired by the cartoon to make a stuffed bear cub. Intending it only as a display, he placed the stuffed bear in his toy store window, and next to it placed a copy of the cartoon from the newspaper. To Michtom’s surprise, he was besieged by customers eager to buy. He asked for and received President Roosevelt’s permission to use his name for the hand-sewn bears that he and his wife made, and the "Teddy Bear" was born!  Michtom was soon manufacturing Teddy bears by the thousands. The proceeds enabled him, in 1903, to form the Ideal Toy Company.

TO LEARN MORE

RELATED INFORMATION:
History of Toys  from The Great Idea Finder

ON THE BOOKSHELF:
The Kid Who Invented the Popsicle : And Other Surprising Stories About Inventions
by Don L. Wulffson / Paperback - 128 pages (1999) / Puffin
Brief factual stories about how various familiar things were invented, many by accident, from animal crackers to the zipper.

Panati’s Extraordinary Origins of Everyday Things
by Charles Panati / Paperback - 480 pages Reissue edition (September 1989) / HarperCollins
Discover the fascinating stories behind the origins of over 500 everyday items, expressions and customs.
The Legend of the Teddy Bear
by Frank Murphy, Gijsbert Van Frankenhuyzen / Hardcover: 32 pages / Sleeping Bear Press (2000)
This is such a well written book and illustrated so beautifully. Not only is it a nice book for youngsters but a good history book for adults. How many people actually knew why it is called the "Teddy" bear? Now the whole world will know.
Theodore Roosevelt
by Louis Auchincloss, Arthur M.Schlesinger / Hardcover: 192 pages / Henry Holt & Company (2002)
Theodore Roosevelt was a man of contradictions: a warrior who won the Nobel Peace prize, a wealthy man who battled corporate greed, a thinker who prized action more than words

ON THE WEB:
Vermont Teddy Bear Company Story
In 1981, John Sortino had the insipation to start his own teddy bear manufacturing company.

(URL:  www.vermontteddybear.com)
The Invention of the Teddy Bear by Margarete Steiff
The result, the first toy bear, made of finest mohair and with jointed arms, legs and head, was exhibited at the Leipzig Fair in 1903
(URL:  www.teddybear.org/e_gesch.htm)
The Vienna Teddy Bear Museum
Opened online in 1996. Now closed for updates but pages remain for your viewing.
(URL:  www.teddybear.org/)
Teddy Bear Hugs to Wipe Away the Tears
Anyone out there need a hug after September 11th.
(URL:  www.ibrooklyn.com/2000/progress_oct_teddybear.html)
President Theodore Roosevelt
"No man has had a happier life than I have led; a happier life in every way." says Teddy Roosevelt at the official White House site.
(URL:  www.whitehouse.gov/history/presidents/tr26.html)
Benjamin F. Michtom
Possibly the best promoter of toys ever, Ben Michtom structured a sales and marketing organization second to none, propelling the Ideal Toy and Novelty Company to the forefront of the industry.
(URL:  www.toy-tia.org
)

WHERE TO FIND:
Magic Hat Bear
5" teddy bear / Item Code:KK0015597 / Less than $75.00
This Bear comes with a magic wand, a red satin-lined magicians cape, and even a rabbit in a top hat for the big finale.

Reference Sources in BOLD Type This page revised March, 2005.
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