The teddy bear is named after U.S. President Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt. In 1902, President Roosevelt went bear hunting. While hunting, other hunters had captured a small bear. Roosevelt refused to kill the bear saying that would be "unsportsmanlike." The story spread around the country and newspapers began publishing political cartoons about "Teddy" and the bear. A shop owner in Brooklyn named Morris Michtom saw one of the cartoons and got an idea. He and his wife could create plush, stuffed bears and place them in the window of their shop. With permission from Roosevelt, he named the bears "Teddy Bears".
At about the same time teddy bears were becoming popular in the United States, a toy maker in Germany named Margarete Steiff also started making stuffed bears. Her nephew, Richard Steiff, designed the world's first toy bear with jointed arms and legs. An American businessman visiting Germany saw the bears at a toy fair and placed an order for 3000 bears to take back to America. From 1906 onwards, they sold under the name "Teddy bear". The Steiff Toy Company still makes teddy bears today - over 100 years later!
According to the Guiness World Book of Records on teddy bears:
The largest collection of teddy bears is 20,367 owned by Istvánné Arnóczki from Hungary. As a child, Arnóczki grew up in poverty and never owned a teddy bear.
The largest teddy bear is 63 feet, 8 inches in Mexico.
The most expensive teddy bear is $182,550, sold in France.
The longest line of teddy bears was made up of 15,534 bears. The lined measured 6,909 feet and 5.22 inches in the UK.
The smallest commercially available stitched teddy bear is 9mm in South Africa.
The most expensive teddy bear of antique origin (1905) sold in London for $171,600.
Now, the big question - What can one do to celebrate National Teddy Bear Day? Well, you could give a teddy bear to someone, donate a teddy bear to a children's organization, host a teddy bear tea party with your children OR you can read one of the wonderful books we have in our collection about teddy bears.There are so many teddy bear stories to choose from - and be sure to hug YOUR teddy while you're reading! What - you say you don't HAVE a teddy bear?! No worries.Take advantage of our eSource called Creativebug and learn how to hand sew a teddy bear.