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History of the Teddy Bear

Teddy Roosevelt and the Teddy Bear

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Clifford Berryman's cartoon of Roosevelt

Clifford Berryman's cartoon of Roosevelt as a Rough Rider with a bear cub

LOC: Berryman, Clifford Kennedy, artist
Theodore (Teddy) Roosevelt, the 26th president of the United States, is the person responsible for giving the teddy bear his name. On November 14, 1902, Roosevelt was helping settle a border dispute between Mississippi and Louisiana. During his spare time he attended a bear hunt in Mississippi. During the hunt, Roosevelt came upon a wounded young bear and ordered the mercy killing of the animal. The Washington Post ran a editorial cartoon created by the political cartoonist Clifford K. Berryman that illustrated the event. The cartoon was called "Drawing the Line in Mississippi" and depicted both state line dispute and the bear hunt. At first Berryman drew the bear as a fierce animal, the bear had just killed a hunting dog. Later, Berryman redrew the bear to make it a cuddly cub. The cartoon and the story it told became popular and within a year, the cartoon bear became a toy for children called the teddy bear.

Who made the first toy bear called teddy bear?

Well there are several stories, below is the most popular one:

Morris Michtom made the first official toy bear called the teddy bear. Michtom owned a small novelty and candy store in Brooklyn, New York. His wife Rose was making toy bears for sale in their store. Michtom sent Roosevelt a bear and asked permission to use the teddy bear name. Roosevelt said yes. Michtom and a company called Butler Brothers, began to mass-produce the teddy bear. Within a year Michtom started his own company called the Ideal Novelty and Toy Company.

However, the truth is that no one is sure who made the first teddy bear, please read the resources to the right and below for more information on other origins.

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