How much do you know about Teddy Bears?|
- What three countries claim to have created the first Teddy Bear?
- For which U. S. president is the Teddy Bear said to be named?
- What German toy bear manufacturer claims to have made the first Teddy Bear?
- How old is the Teddy Bear?
- What is Teddy Bear collecting called?
- From what kind of fur were some of the original Teddy Bears made?
- Why do some police officers and fire fighters carry Teddy Bears?
- How many famous Teddy Bears can you name?
- Some Teddy Bears work in hospitals. What is their job?
- At what age is a person too old to have a Teddy Bear?
- England, Germany,
and the United States all claim to have created the first
Teddy Bear. England claims the Teddy Bear was based on King
Edward VII's nickname, which was "Teddy." But the United States
version of the story is different and more popular. Go on
to answer number 2.
- The Teddy Bear
is said to be named after U.S. President Theodore "Teddy"
Roosevelt. The story goes like this: President Roosevelt went
on a bear hunt. He and his friends hunted for a few days,
but they didn't capture any bears. Finally, the hunting guide
and his hunting dogs found an old bear. They chased the bear
until it was so tired that the dogs were able to catch up
to it and attack it. The guide tied up the bear and called
for the President to come shoot the bear so that he would
not go home from his bear hunt empty handed. But the President
felt sorry for the bear and would not shoot it. Instead, since
the poor bear had been hurt in its fight with the dogs, the
President ordered the other hunters to shoot it to put it
out of its misery. Shortly after the hunting trip, a political
cartoonist (a person who draws cartoons about events in the
news) named Clifford Berryman heard about the President's
hunting trip. He drew a cartoon showing President Roosevelt
refusing to shoot the bear. The first time Mr. Berryman drew
the cartoon, the bear looked about the same size as the hunter.
But later on he drew the cartoon again, with the bear appearing
much smaller than the hunter. The little bear was cute. Mr.
Berryman drew many cartoons about Theodore Roosevelt and most
of them showed the little bear somewhere. The bear became
connected to President Theodore Roosevelt. When Morris and
Rose Michtom, a couple who owned a toy store in New York,
saw the cartoon, Mrs. Michtom made a toy bear, which she displayed
it in the toy store window. The bear became a very popular
toy. So, Mr. Michtom wrote a letter to President Roosevelt
to ask for his permission to name the bear "Teddy," after
the President's nickname. Can you guess what the President
- Germany claims
to have created the first Teddy Bear as well. The nephew of
a German toy bear manufacturer Margarete Steiff sketched bears
at a local zoo. Margarete made toy bears from the sketches.
Margarete displayed her Teddy Bears at the 1903 Leipzig Trade
Fair. At the fair an American buyer ordered 3,000! The American
buyer ended up ordering 12,000 Teddy Bears by the end of the
year. Today the Steiff Company's Teddy Bear is still a high
quality bear with a good reputation for providing love and
comfort to its owners.
- President Roosevelt's
bear hunting trip took place in Mississippi in 1902. That
makes the Teddy Bear over 100 years old.
- Teddy Bear collecting
is called arctophily. The word arctophily is a combination
of two Greek words that mean "bear" and "love." Teddy Bear
collector Peter Bull came up with the name. Mr. Bull also
suggested that a group of Teddy Bears should be called "hug
- Most of the very
first Teddy Bears were actually made with real bear fur! Now
they are made of machine washable synthetic fake furs, silk,
or rayon plush. Were you wondering about the rest of the Teddy
Bear's body, too? Here is a little Teddy Bear anatomy lesson:
Excelsior (very fine wood shavings) was the original material
used for stuffing Teddy Bears. A few hand-sewers still use
it, but today's fire safety laws require Teddy Bears and other
stuffed animals to be filled with fire-safe polyester filler,
and tiny plastic beads (made from recycled milk cartons).
The paws and nose of some Teddy Bears are just a different
color fur than the rest of the body. And some modern bears
have ultra suede paws and nose. The best Teddy Bear eyes are
made of glass. The original Teddy Bear's glass eyes were attached
to a long, sharp hatpin and thumbtacked into the head. Do
you think this sounds safe for babies? Most parents didn't
think so, and so they would remove these dangerous eyes and
sew on buttons instead. Today, Teddy Bear eyes are sewn on
with extra-strong nylon "eye-floss." All well-loved Teddy
Bears have "wear spots". These are the bare spots on the tummy
(from little hands holding on through the night), the missing
or hanging ears that are used as handles, the threadbare hands
and feet that have been chewed on, the dirt picked up from
everyday travels, and the food stains and tea spills from
fast food dinners and tea parties. Does your Teddy Bear have
a lot of wear spots?
- Police officers
and fire fighters often use Teddy Bears to comfort children
who are lost or scared.
- Did you remember
Winnie the Pooh, Fozzie Bear, Paddington Bear, Smokey the
Bear, and Corduroy? What other famous Teddy Bears did you
- Teddy Bears who
work in hospitals have very important jobs. At many hospitals,
a child who is going to have an operation can bring in his
or her Teddy Bear for a free checkup by a nurse or doctor.
This way the child gets to see what it will be like to be
taken care of at a hospital. The Teddy Bear's important job
is to help the child not feel scared about being in the hospital.
- You're never too
old for a Teddy Bear! Teddy Bear collectors are all ages!