Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Teddy Bear

Do we all know the story behind the teddy bear? I didn't until recent years, it's a interesting and semi cute tale of the 26th president who went to Mississippi, in 1902, to settle a boundary dispute between that state and Louisiana.

There are two versions of this tale and my favorite is the one with the cub. Story goes the hunter (Teddy Roosevelt), was frustrated at not being able to find a single bear until a single cub was found and tied to a tree for the president to shoot. This angered the president who promptly demanded the cub taken away, saying, "I draw the line. If I shot that little fellow I couldn't look my own boys in the face again."

The second version is much gruesome with a adult bear being chased to exhaustion and Teddy Roosevelt ordering for it to be put out of it's misery. Either way, there was a publication in The Washington Post depicting a cartoon drawing a line in the Mississippi. Thus the Teddy bear was born by Morris Michtom and his wife Rose. Together they ran a small toy shop in New York of which Rose created many of the toys herself, placing the newly "teddy bear' in the front window while the cartoon depicted the gentleness of the president, it became a best seller. Mr.Michtom wrote the President requesting to name the cub after him. Mr Michtom was also in the early throws of the Ideal Toy Company, a company that rivals Matel, manufacturers of Barbie.

The same year a German toy maker created a humpback bear at the request of her nephew, her name was Margarete Steiff. Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary defines:

teddy bear 'ted-e-,ted-e-' n {Teddy;

nickname of Theodore Roosevelt *1919

26th president:fr. a cartoon depicting

the president sparing the life of a bear

cub while hunting}; a stuffed toy bear

What a way to be remembered. C&G Design


tina said...

Yup, I did know this story. A nice way to be remembered.

Roses and Lilacs said...

I remember the story from my school days.

Odd isn't it that such a ferocious creature becomes a child's toy.

Nancy @ La Chambre Rose said...

I knew it was after Teddy Roosevelt. I was not aware of the boundary dispute as part of it. Interesting!

Debbie said...

Great story that I knew very little about. Thanks for the history lesson Dawn. I really think you are the busiest person alive. I just got done reading your previous posts to try and catch up! Redoing your moms chairs....making another quilt...posting the pink depression ware..my God girl! Do you ever sit still?

Jean said...

I had heard the story of the cub and always knew the teddy bear was named after him but had not heard the other story. Very interesting.

Protector of Vintage said...

How are the chairs coming along? I love the pink depression piece you featured. I'm trying to skip the china aisle during my thrift store visits because I always bring home more and more china!!!

Skeeter said...

I knew the Teddy Bear was named after Pres Roosevelt but not the line disputes and the two stories. The Saint has his Steiff Teddy Bear from when he was a child. I am not sure how old he was when it was given to him by his German Aunt but I reckon it is over 40 years old...

Leedra said...

I knew who the Teddy Bear was named after, but didn't know all of what you told.