Today, for most children and adults, a teddy bear is a touching gray teddy bear Me to you. However, in comparison with its brown predecessors, the modern bear is still very young. He is only a little over ten years old. How did the first teddy bears appear? How did they initially look and how did they later turn gray?
The appearance of soft bears, so popular these days, is shrouded in mystery. There are many legends about the history of the Teddy bear and its origin. The most famous of them – German and American.
If you believe the German history, then the birthplace of the universal favorite is the small town of Geingen. A seamstress named Margret Steyf lived in this town. The girl was sick and confined to a wheelchair, so Margaret’s favorite occupation was sewing soft toys. The creations of the young seamstress always came out unusual and beautiful and very soon won a place in the hearts of the urban children. Her parents appreciated her daughter’s talent and helped her open her own workshop, which gradually grew into a family business. Thus arose the manufactory of soft toys of the Steyf family. The idea is to create a bear cub Margaret gave the artist Richard Shtaif, who came to her nephew. In 1902, the first Teddi teddy bear appeared from the sketch of Stetif.
Invented the miracle teddy made a lot of noise at the fair in Leipzig, won the grand prize and attracted visitors from the United States. Moreover, he fell in love with the Americans so much that they even ordered the factory a whole batch of future soft bears.
By the way, about the name of the bear. Its origin just also sends us to the second legend – American. As the American history of Teddy bears states, the teddy bear received its name from none other than the president of the USA Theodore Roosevelt.
The situation was as follows: the American president in Smidds County, Mississippi had to pay for state affairs once. Local forests were rich in beasts, so Roosevelt could not resist the desire to hunt. Spoiled all obsequious assistants. They found somewhere a small, helpless little bear and tied him to a tree, offering him to the president as a hunting trophy. Of course, Roosevelt was angry and let go of the unfortunate animal.
Journalists, hunters to this kind of stories, simply could not bypass what happened. A few days later in one of the newspapers a caricature was published featuring a bear cub and a soft-hearted president.
This newspaper inadvertently caught the eyes of the spouses Michtom, the owners of a toy store in New York. Then Morris and Rose Michtom jokingly created a children’s toy – a teddy bear and put it on a showcase with a caricature. The bear was named Teddy (short for Theodore) and instantly gained popularity among the customers of the store. Later, the bear became the talisman of the American president and helped him win a second time in the presidential election.
In a few years, the whole of Old and New World was overwhelmed by a wave of teddymania. In 1914, teddy bears begin to produce in England, which is destined to become the third homeland of the Teddy bear. In 1926, Alan Milne publishes his book “Winnie the Pooh,” and in the 1930s clockwork bears even appeared in Europe.
After World War II, the excitement was somewhat asleep. A lot of Japanese-made bears appeared on the market, and they almost forgot about real teddy bears. The image of a defenseless teddy bear was resurrected by the famous English actor Peter Bull in the 60s. In the turbulent times of the war in Vietnam and the Caribbean crisis, he promoted this soft toy as a symbol of peace and the good old days.
By the 80s, interest in Teddy bears flared up with a new force. This is partly due to the fact that it is in the mid-eighties that Teddy the bear appears in a new image – the image of a teddy bear Me to you. At first, this character appears on the greeting cards of the English company Carte Blanche. And in 1995, the company launches a line of soft toys. Teddy bears Me to you differed from their predecessors by the new design: these are gray bear cubs with patches and a blue spout.
In 2002, Teddy bears turned one hundred years old. Despite his old age, the bear has not lost its charm at all and is now experiencing a second youth, but in a new image.