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The Origin Of The Teddy Bear

Mar 31, 2008
Teddy Bears have been among the world's favourite child's toy for over a hundred years, and, as the years pass, they don't just get shoved to the back of the toy cupboard. Adults of all ages and both genders are often happy to admit that their favourite moth-eaten old teddy still holds of pride of place on the bedroom mantlepiece.

Many will know of the Steiff as the original manufacturers of Teddy Bears. There have certainly been plenty of imitators, but the Steiff Bears are universally acknowledged as being the best and certainly the most collectable, as certain antique bears are changing hands for as much 80,000.

However, less well-known is the origin of the term, Teddy Bear. How did he get his name? The answer goes back over 100 years to the United States and the year 1902. The then President Theodore 'Teddy' Roosevelt was taken on a shooting trip in Mississippi (somewhat reluctantly as he was one of the very first true 'environmentalists' and was not overly-keen on blood sports). The day out had been quite enjoyable, but not successful, in that the party hadn't actually seen any bears, let alone shot any. In an attempt to make the President's day more successful, his hosts found a half starved young bear that had become separated from it's mother. They lassooed the hapless creature and tied it to a tree, thus inviting their guest to shoot it and take it home as a trophy.

However, being a sensitive soul, President Roosevelt declined the offer, insisting the poor animal be set free into the wild. The moment was captured by the Washington Post's political cartoonist, Clifford Berryman, whose cartoon, subtitled 'Drawing The Line in Mississippi', was published in the next edition of the paper.

In a matter of a few weeks, the tale had reached the ears of Germany's animal toy company, Steiff. It didn not take them long to celebrate the event with a bear that had fully jointed arms and legs, aptly christened the 'Teddy Bear'.

The name then stuck, and therefore has been a part of the English language ever since.

Steiff have now been producing Teddy bears and any number of animals for well over one hundred years - these toys finding themselves nestling in the nurseries and bedrooms of children and adults from around the world.

Over 100 years ago Margarete Steiff, the Company founder, summed up her philosophy with the words, ''For our children only the best is good enough'.' This principle is still valid today and explains why Steiff is simply the best for collectors of Teddies the whole world over.

At The UK Gift Company, we have an extensive range of Steiff which we treasure. Alongside the Steiff classic teddy bears sit replicas from olden days, limited editions, pets and farm animals and wild animals, as well as the irresistible Cosy bears Collection. And remember, every Steiff bear is posted FREE OF CHARGE within the UK.

For further information, please visit our website at http://www.theukgiftcompany.co.uk
About the Author
To explore our range of Steiff bears further, please visit our website at http://www.theukgiftcompany.co.uk
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