Teddy Bears & Soft Toys

How Teddy Bear was born.

Did you know that the Teddy Bear was invented in honor of President Theodore Roosevelt? It all began when Theodore Roosevelt was on a bear hunting trip near Onward, Mississippi on November 1902. He had been invited by Mississippi Governor Andrew H. Longino, and unlike other hunters in the group, had not located a single bear. Roosevelt's assistants, led by Holt Collier, a born slave and former Confederate cavalryman, cornered and tied a black bear to a willow tree. They called on Roosevelt suggesting that he shoot it. Viewing this as very unsportsmanlike, Roosevelt refused to shoot the animal. The news of this event spread quickly through newspaper articles across the country. The articles told the story of the president who refused to shoot a bear. However, it was not just any president, it was Theodore Roosevelt the big game hunter! A political cartoonist named Clifford Berryman read the article and decided to publisize the president's refusal to shoot the bear. Berryman's cartoon appeared in the Washington Post in November 1902. A candy shop owner from Brooklyn named Morris Michtom saw the cartoon and had an idea. He and his wife Rose were also makers of stuffed animals, and Michtom decided to make a stuffed toy bear in honour of the president who refused to shoot a bear. He called it "Teddy's Bear". After receiving the President's permission to use his name, Michtom mass produced the toy bears which were so popular that he soon founded the Ideal Toy Company. To this day the Teddy Bear has worldwide popularity and its origin can be traced back to Theodore's hunting trip in 1902 near Onward, Mississippi.