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Teddy Roosevelt Bear Cartoon imageAll Teddy Bears are stuffed toy bears, but not all stuffed bears are teddy bears. The name is actually a nick-name for toy bears which caught on when President Theodore Roosevelt became associated with stuffed bear toys after the appearance of a political cartoon in 1902. President Roosevelt, an ardent outdoor enthusiast, was invited by Mississippi Governor Andrew Longino to join several other hunters in a competition. Most of the other hunters had already had a kill, but the President late to the party had not. So, rather than the great fervant outdoors man return trophy-less, Roosevelt's guides chased an American Black bear with dogs and and clubbed it senseless. They tied the exahusted bear to a tree and propsed Mr. Roosevelt should shoot it. The president was disgusted by the clear unsportsman idea and refused to shoot the bear himself. He told the handlers to put the bear out of its misery with a knife. The cartoon in the Washington Post of November 16 by Clifford Berryman showed the annoyed presient and big bear lashed to the tree. Over time and several more interations of the cartoon, the bear got smaller and cuter as Roosevelt became more outsized and epic.

toy bearMorris Michtom was inspired by the drawing to create a new toy, asking his wife to sew a stuffed bear cub and called it "Teddy's Bear" after sending one to the president, who was tickled by it and allowed the use of his name. The little bears were a hit and allowed to Michtom found the Ideal Novelty and Toy Co to make them. About the same time in Giengen An Der Brenz Germany, Richard Steiff, the brother of Margaret Steiff, who had been creating european stuffed animals, designed a new stuffed bear with articulated arms and legs, known at first as Bear 55. After the Steiff bear appeared at the Leipzig Toy Fair in March 1903 and brought to the United States, it became even more popular and called a "Teddy Bear" or a "Roosevelt Bear". Other manufacturers got in on the craze, and pretty much every toy bear began to be called a "Teddy Bear", falling into commen usage. Stuffed toy bears come in all shape and sizes. One of Michtom's original "Teddy's Bear" from 1903 is in the Smithsonian National History Museum in Washington, but the "Teddy Bear" is perhaps most commonly associated with the Steiff design.

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