Minka's Bear Passion

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Great Brittain

History

The first British bear was made by J.K. Farnell in 1906. Other early bears were made by W.J. Terry, Dean's Rag Book Co Ltd, Chad Valley and Chiltern. While early British bears copied the German look, later on they began to change - their bodies became fatter, their faces flatter and their arms and legs shorter.

British makers also experimented with different materials. Artificial silk plush was first used in the 1920s and sheepskin was popular for a while in the 1950s. Bears made by different companies developed their own characteristics. Chad Valley bears are instantly recognisable from their bulbous noses. Early Farnell bears have webbed claw stitching, and Chiltern noses of the 1920s and 1930s have two long stitches going up at each end.

Companies

companycityyearsfirst teddy bear
Chad Valley Co. Ltd.Birmingham1820 - 19781915
ChilternChesham1919 - 19671923
Dean's Rag BookMerton1903 - ?1915
EalontoysLondon1914 - 19501926
J.K. Farnell & Co. Ltd.London1840 - 19681908
Harwin & Co. Ltd.London1914 - 19301914
MerrythoughtShropshire1919 - ?1919
Peacock & Co. LtdLondon1853 - 19391930
H.G. Stone & Co. Ltd.Chesham1919 - 19671923
William J. TerryLondon1890 - 19401913

teddy bear manufacturers

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