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The Origins Of The Teddy Bear

February 16, 2011 by  

One of the most popular toys in history made its first appearance 107 years ago this week. On a hunting trip a few months earlier, then-President Theodore Roosevelt refused to shoot a bear cub, saying it would be unsportsmanlike.

Toy maker Morris Michtom saw a cartoon of the incident and was inspired to create a stuffed bear cub. He sent the first one to the President with a note asking for permission to call it “Teddy’s bear.” The President agreed. The animal became an immediate success, leading Michtom to found the Ideal Novelty and Toy Co. to keep up with demand.

At the same time, a German company produced a stuffed bear based on a design by Richard Steiff, which also became a hit. Other manufacturers joined in and soon “Roosevelt Bears” were a national craze. Ladies carried them everywhere; children begged for one for Christmas; the President himself even used one as a mascot in his bid for re-election.

Their popularity continues to this day, with millions of Teddy Bears being sold every year. All this because a political cartoonist at The Washington Post tried to make fun of the President.

–Chip Wood

Chip Wood

is the geopolitical editor of PersonalLiberty.com. He is the founder of Soundview Publications, in Atlanta, where he was also the host of an award-winning radio talk show for many years. He was the publisher of several bestselling books, including Crisis Investing by Doug Casey, None Dare Call It Conspiracy by Gary Allen and Larry Abraham and The War on Gold by Anthony Sutton. Chip is well known on the investment conference circuit where he has served as Master of Ceremonies for FreedomFest, The New Orleans Investment Conference, Sovereign Society, and The Atlanta Investment Conference.

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