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33 Top Teddy Bear Facts You Probably Never Knew!
The cute and cuddly teddy bear is more than a hundred years old. In fact, it even predates World War I and can trace its origins back to one of the greatest US presidents. Meanwhile, in its hundred-plus year history, the humble teddy has conquered the world from Europe to America to Japan and back. And, even though the once simple lives are being destroyed by so much technology, the old teddy seems to be more popular than ever – just Google it! Here are some more surprising facts about the childhood classic and 20th century icon.
1. Bears first appeared on the literary scene in the story ‘Goldilocks and the Three Bears’ written by Robert Southey in 1834.
2. The first time the stuffed bear soft toy showed signs appeared on the stage when Margarete Steiff patented 23 soft toy styles, including a dancing bear and a guardian bear with a brown bear in 1899.
3. History is made – a Brooklyn merchant, Morris Michtom sold the world’s first ‘Teddy’s Bear’ in his store in November 1902.
4. In March 1903, about 3000 stuffed bear toys were sent to America by the Steiff Company in Germany.
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. In the same year in November, the words ‘Teddy Bear’ appeared for the first time in another advertisement in Playthings by the American manufacturer EJ Horsman.
7. “Teddy Bear” is one of the first illustrated books based on the popular soft toys, written by Alice Scott.
8. In 1907, music history was made when the music of the popular song, The Teddy Bear’s Picnic, was written by American composer JK Bratton. The song was originally called Teddy Bear’s Two Steps and the lyrics we know and love today weren’t actually added until 1932 by the famous English singer Jimmy Kennedy.
9. In 1908, the JK Farnell company began producing the first British teddies. The company was originally founded in London’s Notting Hill as a silk merchant and primary manufacturer of tea cossies and pin cushions. However, it is believed that their Alpha bear of 1925 was the creative inspiration for Winnie the Pooh.
10. In 1909, the first animated teddy cartoon “Little Johnny and the Teddy Bears” appeared in the USA.
11. In 1912, as the world received the news of the sinking of the Titanic on its maiden voyage with shocked disbelief, the German soft toy company Steiff led by Steiff created a black bear to give out as mourning gifts. all those who lost loved ones on the Titanic.
12. In 1919, the adorable teddy bear was airborne on their first non-stop transatlantic flight! Aviation pioneers, Alcock and Brown, took teddy mascots with them on the flight that took this record from St.
13. The teddy bear entered thousands of homes every morning for British citizens when the first British comic teddy bear character, Bobby Bear, appeared in London’s Daily Herald newspaper.
14. The following year, in 1920, Rupert Bear’s first graphic novel, Little Lost Bear, written and illustrated by Mary Tourtel, found its way into the UK newspaper, the Daily Express.
15. In 1924, animation giant Walt Disney produced the first color animated film with the theme of the teddy bear Alice and the Three Bears.
16. One of the most famous and beloved bears of all time, Winnie-the-Pooh made his appearance when the first edition of Winnie-the-Pooh was published by AA Milne in 1926.
17. In 1944, even as wildfires wreaked havoc across the US, Smokey Bear was adopted as the mascot of the American Wildfire Prevention Campaign.
18. Sooty, the glove puppet and magician Teddy bear, made his debut on English television in 1952. Sooty became very popular in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand. Sooty is now the longest running children’s television show in the UK and is 60 years old in 2008. Produced by Harry Corbett, father handed over puppeteer work to son Matthew in 1976. Matthew retired at 99 with Sooty’s popularity not diminishing. .
19. 1953 was the Golden Jubilee of Steiff’s first soft toy bear. She has celebrated with a new teddy bear, a ‘baby bear baby’, called Jackie Baby.
20. A common dilemma was solved when Wendy Boston, a Welsh toy maker, produced the first truly washable teddy bear in 1954.
21. 1958 saw another immensely loved and popular bear, Paddington Bear, appear on stage for the first time. The first Paddington story, A Bear Called Paddington, by Michael Bond was published this year.
22. In a major development, Walt Disney acquired the rights to Winnie-the-Pooh in 1959.
23. Colonel Bob Henderson launched The Teddy Bear Club in 1962.
24. The first animated film about Winnie-the-Pooh was made by Walt Disney in 1975. It instantly became a classic.
25. In 1979, the Marquis of Bath organized the Great Teddy Bear Rally at Longleat.
26. In a departure from the usual items, London’s Christie’s auction house held its first ever 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 next year, in 1989, the first British Teddy Bear Festival was held in London.
29. In the same year, in 1989, Happy Anniversary, a 1926 vintage mohair Steiff bear, was sold at an auction in London for a whopping £55,000 to American Paul Volpp as a 42nd wedding anniversary gift for his wife, Rosemary.
30. In 1990, Steiff crossed over to the UK with the first Steiff UK Limited Edition teddies.
31. Teddy bear has crossed continents and endeared himself to all. 1994 saw Teddy Girl, a 1904 cinnamon Steiff bear formerly owned by Colonel Bob Henderson, sold at an auction in London for an astonishing £110,000 to Yoshihiro Sekiguchi. Sekiguchi went on to found the Teddy Bear Museum in Izu, Japan.
32. In 1996, Yoshihiro Sekiguchi of the Teddy Bear Museum of Izu bought Teddy Edward, the world’s most traveled bear, at auction for… £34,500.
33. You think teddy bears are the only average size? Well, Guinness (8.5 mm tall), made by Lynn Lumb of Halifax, England, entered the hallowed portals of The Guinness Book of World Records as the smallest teddy bear in the world.
Didn’t think the humble teddy accumulated such a long history, eh?
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