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Established in 1930 and the last remaining British teddy bear manufacturer of its kind in the world, the Ironbridge-based Merrythought creates a wide range of lovingly hand-crafted teddy bears. You can find almost any and all kinds of teddy bears at accessible prices. Check out Merrythought, and find them on Facebook and Twitter!
Teddy Bear Artists And Friends (TBAAF) is dedicated to bringing together people who like creating, showcasing, and selling teddy bears. Find everything you need to know to make your very own bear, and sell them to anyone in the world. Who knows – your creations might just win you a TBAAF award! You can also connect with them on Facebook.
Why do people – both young and old alike – like Teddy Bears? Read the BBC Magazine's feature where historian David Cannadine considers this question and explores the answers.
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People.com's Diane Herbst writes about how one mother turned a personal tragedy into an opportunity to comfort and help other mothers cope with loss.
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This is the story of the fateful hunting incident that propelled the lovable, unassuming teddy bear to international fame.
Teddy bears are one of the world's most popular toys. They were invented independently by Morris Michtom in the United States and Richard Steiff in Germany, a fact that neither of the two were aware of, since transatlantic communication was meager at best when the bears were invented in the early 1900’s. Teddy bears weren't always named “Teddy”, nor were they remotely as famous as they are right now; that fame can be attributed to a hunting incident that former US President Theodore Roosevelt himself figured in.
Globally considered as one the most influential presidents in the nation’s history – being one of the four presidents featured in the Mount Rushmore monument – Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt became the youngest president in the United States' history. Having earned his seat after the passing of William McKinley, Roosevelt (aged 42) entered office representing the Republican Party. His lifelong contributions to his country and to the world in general ultimately won him the Nobel Peace Prize in 1906. Roosevelt was not only a politician; he was also an author, an explorer, a soldier, a naturalist, and he also had a bit of a cowboy persona going about him.
But what does any of this have to do with teddy bears?
It was his outgoing, rambunctious, and daring attitude that made him the daredevil that Roosevelt was known to be, often going on hunting expeditions. Speaking of which, in 1902, the president was invited by Mississippi state governor Andrew Longino to a hunting expedition. There were several hunters competing for who could catch the bigger game, and by the end of the day most of them had already caught something. At some point during the trip, a crew of Roosevelt’s attendants, led by Holt Collier, managed to chase down and capture an American Black Bear, which they tied to a nearby willow. Roosevelt was called over to deliver the coup de grace, but he firmly refused, claiming that the kill would be unsportsmanlike.
The word of this act spread like wildfire, and Clifford Berryman, a cartoonist for The Washington Post, created a cartoon featuring Roosevelt looking towards the reader with a look of disgust upon his face, and behind him, a cute bear being pulled by a rope. Morris Michtom, a candy seller by day and a toymaker by night, caught a glimpse of this cartoon strip and promptly put together a stuffed figure in the form of a bear, and dubbed his creation Teddy’s Bear. He then sent one of these bears to President Roosevelt, and after he gave the thumbs up, Michtom put in display in his candy store.
The rest, as they say, is history.
If we could use today’s lingo to describe the reach that these lovable bears had, we could say they went completely viral, spawning a vast chain of memes, theater plays, music and lyrics dedicated to the furry creatures. Nowadays, the bears are fairly common and are a staple gift for children, or as something to give to a significant other, as a means of signifying one's affection, congratulations, or as consolation. Michtom’s original works are considered collectibles, and can go for hundreds of dollars per unit in public auctions.
Michtom and Steiff’s legacy lives on in the hearts and minds of toy makers who devote their lives to making teddy bears for everyone to enjoy. Original or mass-produced, it makes very little difference – teddy bears are just about the best toy you could give to your child.
About the Author: Juan López is a freelance writer living in Venezuela, and offers all sorts of writing services to any interested parties. You may contact him at his personal email email@example.com, or on Facebook.
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