The 33 Most Important Teddy Bear Facts You Probably Never Knew!

The cute and cuddly teddy bear is over a hundred years old. In fact, it predates even the First World War and its origins can be traced back to one of the greatest presidents of the USA. While, in its more than one hundred years of history, the humble stuffed animal has conquered the world from Europe to America, Japan and vice versa. And even though our once simpler lives are now being choked with so much technology, the plain old teddy seems more popular than ever – just Google it! Here are some more amazing facts about this childhood classic and 20th century icon.

1. Bears first appeared on the literary scene in the fairy tale ‘Goldilocks and the Three Bears’ written by Robert Southey in 1834.

2. The first teddy bear showed signs of appearing on the scene when Margarete Steiff filed patents for 23 of her teddy bear designs, including a dancing bear and a bear trainer with a brown bear in 1899.

3. History Is Made: A Brooklyn merchant, Morris Michtom, sells the world’s first ‘Teddy Bear’ in his store in November 1902.

4. In March 1903, the Steiff Company in Germany shipped up to 3,000 teddy bears to the United States.

5. Bear toys were called ‘Bruins’ in those days. The first advertisement for Bruins appeared in the American toy trade magazine Playthings in May 1906.

6. That same year, in November, the words ‘Teddy Bear’ first appeared in another ad in Playthings from American manufacturer EJ Horsman.

7. “Teddy Bear” was one of the first picture books based on these popular stuffed toys, written by Alice Scott.

8. In 1907, music history was made when American composer JK Bratton wrote the music for the famous song, The Teddy Bear’s Picnic. The song was originally called The Teddy Bear Two Step and the lyrics we know and love today weren’t added until 1932 by prolific British songwriter Jimmy Kennedy.

9. In 1908, the JK Farnell company began manufacturing the first British soft toys. The firm was originally founded in Notting Hill, London, as a silk merchant and first produced tea cossies and pin cushions. But, it is believed that his Alpha bear from 1925 was the inspiration for the creation of Winnie the Pooh.

10. In 1909, the first animated teddy bear cartoon “Little Johnny and the Teddy Bears” appeared in the US.

11. In 1912, as the world greeted the news of the sinking of the Titanic on its maiden voyage with stunned disbelief, the German plush toy company run by Steiff created a black bear to give as a mourning gift to all those who lost their loved ones. loved ones on the Titanic.

12. In 1919, the lovable teddy bear was in the air on his first nonstop transatlantic flight! Aviation pioneers Alcock and Brown brought stuffed pets with them on this unprecedented flight from St. John’s, Newfoundland to Clifden, Ireland in a modified World War I Vickers Vimy bomber.

13. The teddy bear entered thousands of homes every morning for Britons when the first British comic strip cuddly character, Bobby Bear, was published in the London-based Daily Herald newspaper.

14. The following year, in 1920, Rupert Bear’s first illustrated story, Little Lost Bear, written and illustrated by Mary Tourtel, appeared in the British newspaper The Daily Express.

15. In 1924, animated film giant Walt Disney produced the first color animated film with a teddy bear theme, Alice and the Three Bears.

16. One of the most famous and beloved bears of all time, Winnie-the-Pooh, appeared when the first edition of Winnie-the-Pooh AA Milne was published in 1926.

17. In 1944, even as wildfires raged across the US, Smokey Bear was adopted as the mascot of the US Wildfire Prevention Campaign.

18. Sooty, the teddy bear glove puppet and magician, made his British television debut in 1952. Sooty became very popular in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand. So much so that Sooty is now the longest-running children’s TV show in the UK, turning 60 in 2008. Brainstormed by Harry Corbett, the father handed over the job of puppeteer to his son Matthew in 1976. Matthew retired at the end of of the nineties with Sooty’s popularity intact. .

19. 1953 was the Golden Jubilee for Steiff’s first teddy bear. It was celebrated with a new-style bear, ‘a comical young bear cub’, named Jackie Baby.

20. A common dilemma was solved when Wendy Boston, a Welsh toy manufacturer, produced the first truly washable teddy bear in 1954.

21. In 1958, another immensely loved and popular bear, Paddington Bear, first appeared on the scene. This year saw the publication of the first Paddington story, A Bear Called Paddington by Michael Bond.

22. In a significant development, Walt Disney acquired the rights to Winnie-the-Pooh in 1959.

23. Colonel Bob Henderson launches The Teddy Bear Club in 1962.

24. Walt Disney produced the first animated Winnie-the-Pooh movie in 1975. It instantly became a classic.

25. In 1979, the Marquess of Bath organized the Great Teddy Bear Rally in Longleat.

26. Unlike its usual items, London’s Christie’s auction house held the first exclusive teddy bear auction in 1985.

27. In 1988, Gyles and Michele Brandreth established The Teddy Bear Museum in William Shakespeare’s hometown of Stratford-upon-Avon.

28. The following year, in 1989, the first British Teddy Bear Festival was held in London.

29. That same year, in 1989, Happy Anniversary, a vintage mohair Steiff teddy bear from 1926, was sold at auction in London for a whopping £55,000 to American Paul Volpp as a 42nd wedding anniversary gift from his wife, Rosemary.

30. In 1990, Steiff crossed over to the UK with the first Steiff UK Limited Edition soft toys.

31. The teddy bear had crossed continents and had earned everyone’s affection. In 1994, Teddy Girl, a 1904 cinnamon Steiff bear previously in the possession of Colonel Bob Henderson, sold at auction in London for a staggering £110,000 to Yoshihiro Sekiguchi. Sekiguchi went on to establish the Teddy Bear Museum in Izu, Japan.

32. In 1996, Yoshihiro Sekiguchi of the Izu Teddy Bear Museum bought Teddy Edward, the world’s most traveled bear, at auction for… £34,500.

33. Did you think there were only average sized teddy bears? Well, Guinness (8.5mm tall), made by Lynn Lumb of Halifax, England, entered the hallowed portals of the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s smallest teddy bear.

I never thought that the humble little bear packed such a long story, huh?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *