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A Teddy Bear Collector Is An ‘Arctophile’

teddy bear

National Teddy Bear Day is observed annually on September 9th.  We have all had a special cuddly teddy as a child.  Some of us still have our teddy bear from our childhood. Whether or not you still have your childhood teddy, today is the perfect day to celebrate your childhood friend!

This cartoon by Clifford Berryman’s published in a 1902 Washington Post inspired the Teddy bear

In 1902, American President Theodore Roosevelt refused to shoot a bear cub while hunting in Mississippi.  This incident made national news. Clifford Berryman published a cartoon of the event in the Washington Post on November 16th, 1902. The caricature became an instant classic.


The Berryman cartoon of Teddy Roosevelt and the cub inspired New York store owner Morris Michtom to create a new toy.  Morris Michtom wrote President Roosevelt to ask permission to name the new toy a “Teddy Bear”.


  • 1899 – In Germany, the first stuffed bear was created by Margarete Steiff, who registered 23 patents for her design.
  • 1902 – In the US, Morris Michtom, a Brooklyn shopkeeper, sold the first Teddy bear in November, named after President Theodore Roosevelt (with his permission).
  • President Roosevelt later attended a wedding where 3,000 Teddy bears were used as part of the wedding decorations.
  • 1906 – Teddy bear was first included in the Oxford dictionary.
  • By 1907, one million Teddy bears had been sold.
  • 1944 – Smokey the Bear became the mascot for the US Forest Fire Prevention Campaign: “Remember, Only You Can Prevent Forest Fires.” Since 2008, Sam Elliott has been the voice of Smokey the Bear.
  • 1958 – Another well-known bear came into publication—Paddington Bear.
  • They aren’t just for children – 40 per cent of teddy sales are for adults, and a quarter of us still has our childhood companion.
  • The correct term for a teddy bear collector is an ‘arctophile’.
  • Animation movie giant Walt Disney produced the first colour cartoon film featuring teddy bears – Alice and the Three Bears – in 1924.
  • The largest US teddy bear museum is in Santa Barbara, CA.
  • The Teddy Bear Museum of Naples, FL, closed in 2005. It had been open for 15 years.


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