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In 1906, Teddy Bear Was Included In The Oxford Dictionary

On September 9th, National Teddy Bear Day honors the history of one of childhood’s favorite toys. 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, the day is a perfect time to celebrate your childhood friend!

  • 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.”
  • Big Bird from Sesame Street had a Teddy Bear named Radar.
  • The lasagna loving cat celebrated on Garfield the Cat Day armed himself with Pooky, his lovable scapegoat.
  • The British invasion of Teddy Bears includes Winnie-the-Pooh and Paddington.
  • In 1981, the Care Bears first became greeting cards. Not long after, they launched into television and toy history.
  • Another Muppet character we must mention is Fozzie Bear. The lovable and comedic bear endlessly perseveres with one-liners, slapstick and musical comedy.
  • 1899 – In Germany, the first stuffed bear was created by Margarete Steiff, who registered 23 patents for her design.
  • 40% of teddy sales are for adults, and a quarter of us still has our childhood companion.
  • A teddy has been into space! Magellan T Bear boarded Space Shuttle Discovery in 1995 as part of a school project.
  • In some Asian countries where traditional medicine is still practiced (that means using roots, leaves, animal parts, etc. instead of pills for healing) the bear gall bladder is more valuable than gold!  Sadly, this has taken a toll on the Sloth and Asiatic bear populations and has made them an endangered species
  • 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.
  • 1919 – Teddy bears flew as mascots on the non-stop transatlantic flight from Newfoundland to Ireland.
  • 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.
  • 1985 – Christie’s of London held the first teddy bear only auction.
  • 2006 – Traveling Teddy Bear has her own Facebook page (check it out).
  • Visit the largest teddy bear museum in the US—add Susan Quinlan Doll & Teddy Bear Museum & Library (Santa Barbara, CA) to your travel wish list.
  • The tune of the Teddy Bears’ Picnic was written in 1907 by American composer John W Bratton, although he called it the Teddy Bear Two-Step, and was often used to accompany circus acts. The lyrics were added by Brit Jimmy Kennedy in 1930.
  • The song has been recorded many times, by big names including Bing Crosby, Jerry Garcia and John Inman from Are You Being Served.
  • The correct term for a teddy bear collector is an ‘arctophile’.
  • American multi-billionaire investor Paul Greenwood owned the largest collection of teddy bears.   In 2010, the US government auctioned his collection of 1300 teddy bears at Christie’s for £1.1 million.
  •  Japanese company Fujitsu has manufactured a teddy bear robot for adults that can make simple gestures and even small talk with humans.
  • Animation movie giant Walt Disney produced the first color cartoon film featuring teddy bears – Alice and the Three Bears – in 1924.
  • The first British Teddy Bear Festival was held in 1989 in London.
  • Jackie Miley, from Hilly City, South Dakota, has the world’s biggest teddy bear collection. As of 2012, she owned 8,026 cuddly bears.


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