Encyclopedia

The Encyclopedia will provide you with information about the various teddy bear manufacturers in the world. In the second tab you will find different Teddy Bears from their manufacturer respectively. The categories are: Antique, Vintage and Modern.

 

The General A-Z tabs represents general Teddy Bear distributors and makers.

Where does the name Teddy Bear come from?

Teddy Bear Collection

The former United States President Theodore Roosevelt, whose nickname was "Teddy" went on a bear hunting trip in Mississippi in November 1902. He was invited by the Governor of Mississippi, Andrew H. Longino. Other hunters hunted down some animals already. Some of Roosevelt's followers cornered and clubbed an American Black Bear and tied it to a tree suggesting Roosevelt should shoot it. But Roosevelt refused to shoot the bear himself and instructed to kill the bear to put it out of its misery. Clifford Berryman created a political cartoon of this incident in The Washington Post on November 16, 1902.

 

However this cartoon had symbolic overtones, as it showed the adult black bear lassoed by a handler and a Roosevelt in a disgusted position, so the newer editions of this cartoon was changed where the bear was made smaller and cuter.

 

As Morris Michtom (a candy shop owner) saw the drawing of Roosevelt and the bear cub, he was so inspired that he decided to create a new toy. He created a little stuffed bear cub and sent it to Roosevelt, receiving his permission to use his name, and then he put it in his shop window with a sign that read "Teddy's bear". The toys were an immediate success and Michtom founded the Ideal Novelty and Toy Co.

 

This is where the name Teddy Bear is coming from.

 

Meanwhile in Germany, the Steiff firm, unaware of Michtom's bear, produced a stuffed bear from Richard Steiff's designs. Steiff showed their bear on the Leipzig Toy Fair exhibition in March 1903, where it was seen by Hermann Berg, a buyer for George Borgfeldt & Company in New York, who ordered 3000 to be sent to the United States.

 

The Steiff's records show that the bears were produced, however they are not recorded as arriving in America, and no example of this Teddy Bear has ever been seen, there is a story going around that the bears were shipwrecked. However, the story is disputed - Gunther Pfieffer notes that it was only recorded in 1953 and says it is more likely that This Teddy Bear was not sufficiently durable to survive until the present day.

 

Although Steiff and Michtom were both making teddy bears at around the same time, neither would have known of the other's creation due to poor transatlantic communication.

By 1906 other manufacturers had joined in and the craze for "Roosevelt Bears" was such that ladies carried them everywhere, children were photographed with them, and Roosevelt used one as a mascot in his bid for re-election.

 

Steiff vintage Molly 1987

 

 

 

Early made teddy bears looked like real bears, with extended snouts and beady eyes. The Teddy Bears of today tend to have larger eyes and foreheads and smaller noses, mostly baby like features that make them more attractive to buyers, because they enhance the toy's cuteness. Some Teddy Bears even come pre-dressed.