20 Years Old And I Still Love Stuffed Animals Reddit 33 Top Teddy Bear Facts You Probably Never Knew!

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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 predates World War I and can trace its origins to one of the greatest US presidents. While, in its one hundred year history, the humble plush has conquered the world from Europe to America to Japan and back. And, even though our once simpler lives are now being drowned out by so much technology, the plain old plush seems more popular than ever — just google it! Here are some more amazing facts about this classic icon of childhood and the 20th century.

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

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

3. History is made — Brooklyn shopkeeper Morris Michtom sells the world’s first ‘Teddy Bear’ in his store in November 1902.

4. In March 1903, up to 3,000 stuffed bear toys were shipped to America by the Steiff company in Germany.

5. Bear toys in those days were called ‘Bruins’. 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’ appeared for the first time in another Playthings ad by American manufacturer EJ Horsman.

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

8. In 1907, music history was made when the music to the famous song, The Teddy Bear’s Picnic, was written by American composer JK Bratton. 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 production of the first British soft toys. The firm was originally founded in London’s Notting Hill as a silk merchant and initially produced tea cossies and pin cushions. But it is believed that their 1925 bear Alpha was the inspiration behind 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 received the news of the sinking of the Titanic on its maiden voyage in shocked disbelief, the German soft toy company led by Steiff created a black bear to give as mourning gifts to everyone to those who lost loved ones on the Titanic.

12. In 1919, the adorable teddy bear was carried in the air on their first non-stop transatlantic flight! Aviation pioneers Alcock and Brown took plush mascots with them on this record-breaking flight from St. John’s, Newfoundland to Clifden, Ireland with 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 teddy bear character, Bobby Bear, was published in the London-based Daily Herald newspaper.

14. The following year, in 1920, Rupert Bear’s first picture story, Little Lost Bear, written and illustrated by Mary Tourtel, found its way into the UK newspaper, The Daily Express.

15. In 1924, the giant of animated films 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 was published by AA Milne in 1926.

17. In 1944, even as forest fires wreaked havoc across the US, Smokey Bear was adopted as the mascot of the United States Campaign for Forest Fire Prevention.

18. Sooty, the teddy bear puppet and magician, made his debut on British television in 1952. Sooty became extremely popular in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand. So much so that Sooty is now the UK’s longest running children’s TV show and turned 60 in 2008. Conceived by Harry Corbett, father handed over puppetry to son Matthew in 1976. Matthew retired in the late nineties with Sooty’s popularity undiminished.

19. 1953 was the Golden Jubilee of Steiff’s first soft toy bear. She was celebrated with a new-style teddy bear, ‘a new comical puppy’, named Jackie Baby.

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

21. 1958 saw the first appearance on the stage of another much-loved and popular bear, Paddington Bear. The first Paddington story, A Bear Called Paddington, by Michael Bond was published this year.

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

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

24. The first animated film about Winnie-the-Pooh was produced by Walt Disney in 1975. It immediately became a classic.

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

26. In a departure from its usual items, auction house Christie’s of London held its first ever teddy bear auction in 1985.

27. In 1988, Gyles and Michele Brandreth created 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 Steiff mohair bear from 1926, was sold at an auction in London for £55,000 to American Paul Volpp as a 42nd wedding anniversary present for his wife, Rosemary.

30. In 1990, Steiff moved into the UK with the first Steiff UK Limited Edition plush.

31. The teddy bear had crossed continents and was loved by everyone. In 1994, Teddy Girl, a 1904 cinnamon Steiff bear formerly in the possession of Colonel Bob Henderson, was sold at a London auction for £110,000 to Yoshihiro Sekiguchi. Sekiguchi went on to found 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 an auction for… £34,500.

33. You thought there were only medium-sized teddy bears? Well, Guinness (8.5mm long), 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 the humble stuffed animal had such a long history, did you?

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