“HE WOULD NEITHER SHOOT IT OF
PERMIT IT TO BE SHOT”
Have you heard the story of the Teddy Bear?? You
probably have. There are many version with many
different endings. The story of our favourite stuffed
animal starts off in Mississippi where Teddy Roosevelt
the youngest president of the United States was off on a
hunt in the woods.
The hunting dogs had chased down the bear and it was
being held on a rope by another huntsmen. The
huntsmen offered Teddy the kill.
Instead of shooting it like a regular huntsmen, Teddy
refused to shoot the young tired bear. He would not let
any of the other hunters shoot it either. This was the
The next day,
November 15, 1902
the event became
famous to all the of
states. It was
quoted in The
that “he would
neither shoot it or
permit it to be
shot”. The next day
a cartoon of Teddy
refusing to shoot
the bear by Clifford
released. This is
the cartoon on the
Drawing the Line in Mississippi
THE ORIGINAL TEDDY
The original teddy bear was invented by Rose and Morris Michtom. The
Michtoms were Russian immigrants that owned a small candy store in
Brooklyn which also sold stuffed animals.
After seeing the cartoon of Teddy refusing a bear Rose Michtom made
two small stuffed bears. They had light coloured fur, black button eyes
and movable arms and legs. The two bears were put in the front window
with a sign that read “Teddy’s Bears”.
The bears sold very quickly and the Michtoms were making more and
more. Eventually, Morris plucked up the courage and sent a letter and
sample of the bears to Teddy Roosevelt asking if he could use Teddy’s
name to promote the bears.
The president returned the letter in his own writing saying yes, that
Morris could use the name but didn’t imagine how his name would be
useful. Morris Michtom then brought the letter to the Ideal Toy Company
for the Teddies to manufactured.
TEDDIES IN GERMANY
At the same time as the birth of teddies in the U.S., teddies were also
being born in Germany in the German “Steiff Company”.
The Steiff Company was founded by Margrete Steiff in 1880.
Margrete had polio as a child but overcame this by learning to sew.
The first stuffed animal Margrete made was a felt elephant in 1887.
She kept the first one as a pin cushion for herself. In 1888 a monkey,
donkey, horse, pig and camel joined the group. These animals were
sold at a fair in 1893.
Margrete’s nephew Richard Steiff was an artist. He had always
enjoyed drawing bears and looking at them in zoo’s. It was he who
convinced Margrete to make small mohair bears. At first, no one
bought the bears.
“I’LL TAKE 3000, PLEASE”
No one wanted them. These cute little teddies were all beginning to
pile up in the store windows. The bears in Germany were now known
as “Friend Petz” as Teddy meant nothing to the Germans.
The teddy bear first became really famous in 1903. It was the 1093
Leipzig fair and lots of things were for sale. The teddies were all
sitting in Margrete’s booth just waiting to be sold. “Please buy me”
they were all thinking. Little did they know that there wish was about
to come true.
It almost the end of the day. Margrete had sold all the other animals
when suddenly an American business man came up to the booth. He
inspected the little bears and asked a few questions. Finally he said
“I’ll take 3000 please”.
The teddies were overjoyed to be sold. This was the beginning of the
teddies reign in Germany.
THE EVOLUTION OF THE TEDDY
Teddies were staring to become famous all over the world. In
the U.S. Teddy Roosevelt was having a wedding reception for
his daughter. The theme was teddies in hunting clothes with
little rifles. When the guests asked Teddy what type of bear
the toys were a, another guests called it “Teddy.”
In Germany 1908, Steiff manufactured 1 000 000 teddies.
Other German Companies had begun to make bears too but
the “Knopf im Ohr” or “button in ear” trademark was already
known as the first bears. Though Margrete Steiff died in 1909
the teddies were now famous all through the world.
In 2002 the Teddy Bears turned 100 years old.
Steiff Company Logo
“Knopf Im Ohr”
“Button in Ear”
SPECIES OF TEDDIES
There are many different species of teddies in the world today. The most
famous company would be The Steiff Company founded by Margrete Steiff in
1880, which was one of the first companies to ever make teddies.
Other types might be Gund, founded by Adolph Gund in 1898 and TY, Inc., a
stuffed animal company from Westmont, Illinois. Care Bears, another
foundation was created in 1983 and was very popular in 80’s and 90’s.
Merrythought and Dakin Bears were also famous in the 1980’s. Dakin had the
“Misha” bears from the 1980 Olympics. Merrythought bears turned 80 this
year. Russ Berrie and Company is also an extremely famous teddy company.
The most famous types of teddies right now are Build-a-Bears. Build-a-Bears
were founded by Maxine Clark in 1997. Build-a-Bears is now famous all over
Have you ever heard of Winnie the Pooh, Paddington or Corduroy??? How
about Yogi, Fozzy or Rudy??? Old Bear? Little Bear? The Berenstein
All of these are famous. We’ve seen them everywhere, in books, TV, actual
stuffed animals and in music. These teddies have grown up with us as part of
The bears are famous through out the world and everyone knows them. We
all have stories of about our favourite bears. These bears have all become
celebrities of childhood and part of a time that will be unforgettable.
The bears are also marketed very well by companies. They show up in huge
stores and have their own TV show and books. These bears become famous
because of an attachment that people have to them. The bears are incredibly
cute and people develop a feeling of comfort and safety from a bear.
TEDDY THEME SONGS
The Teddy Bear’s Picnic
Winnie the Pooh
The Great Root Bear
THE IMPORTANCE OF TEDDIES
Teddies have appeared everywhere in our culture. In TV, books, toys, art,
even food. Ever since 1902 when Teddy Roosevelt refused to shoot a poor
tired little black bear teddies have appeared every where.
Teddies have become an important part of everyone’s life because of this
incident. Though it seemed wrong back then not to shoot the bear it actually
seems as though it was a blessing in disguise. Teddies bears are almost
magical. They can help you through things and they always listen.
There are many stories of teddy bears having therapeutic powers. A favourite
one of mine is of a little boy in a car accident. There was nothing wrong with
his left eye but he refused to open it. Then, a doctor out a small furry bear in
boy’s left arm. The little boy began to pat the bear very fast. Then, he opened
his left eye to look at the bear.
It seems as that these soft little bears that are just made up of fabric and
stuffing have become much more than a toy. They have become part of our
history and our life. There creation was an event on one will ever forget.