Everyone, regardless of their age loves to gift, receive or at least see or touch Teddy bears. They are the most popular toys in the world and are available in all colours, sizes and shapes. The 10th of February in Valentine’s week is celebrated as Teddy’s day when people gift teddy bears to their loved ones in order to express their loves. And yes, Teddy bears don’t need hearts as they are already stuffed with so much of love!
But how many of us actually know the history of origin of Teddy bears? Quite interesting, this. It was named in honour of President Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt (although he loathed being called so), after he refused to kill a bear which was tied to a tree by the guides during a hunting trip in Mississippi. The president refused to shoot the bear as he found it ‘unsportsmanlike’ to kill a defenceless animal in such a way.
Owing to the political scenario present then in the country, it became a nationwide popular joke after being depicted in a sarcastic way by Clifford Berryman in the newspaper. Inspired by the cartoon, a shopkeeper in New York, Morris Michtom and his wife Rose made a stuffed fabric bear in the honour of the President and tagged it as the “Teddy’s bear”, which attracted massive interest from the masses. After allegedly seeking permission from the President, the Michtoms went on to start a company that manufactured Teddy bears.
About around the same time, a German company, whose founder was Margarete Steiff, began producing soft toy animals. Stieff’s nephew Richard modelled a teddy after sketching a real bear at zoo. After a U.S. company ordered Steiff’s bears at a large scale, the Steiff’s bears (officially became known as Teddy bears in 1906); the Teddy bears became worldwide popular toys, and continue to rule the hearts of people even today. They certainly don’t have hearts, but they can’t help being the heartthrobs… ❤