(Teddy) Bear Timeline

1834 – 1899

  • 1834 – Robert Southey writes ‘Goldilocks and the Three Bears‘. Southey was an English poet and writer, who lived from 1774 till 1843.
  • 1850 – The Knickerbocker Toy Company was founded in Albany, New York, and initially manufactured educational toys.
  • 1863Gebrüder Bing is founded by the brothers Ignaz and Adolf Bing in Nuremberg, Germany.
  • 1880Margarete Steiff founded the Steiff Company in Giengen, Germany. It becomes the world most famous soft toy company.
  • 1894 – German Toy company Gebrüder Süssenguth publishes a catalogue with a soft, stuffed, toy teddy bear.
    1894The Jungle Book is written by Joseph Rudyard Kipling.
  • 1898 – German immigrant Adolph Gund founded Gund, which is now the oldest plush toy company in the United States.
Winnie the Pooh

1900 – 1919

  • 1902 November – US President Theodore Roosevelt refuses to shoot a tethered bear, saying it’s unsportsmanlike and orders the bear’s release.
    1902 November 16 – Clifford Berryman’s cartoon ‘Drawing the Line in Mississippi’ was first published in The Washington Post. It depicts the reported incident in which President Theodore Roosevelt went on a bear-hunting trip in Mississippi.
  • 1903 February – Morris and Rose Michtom of Brooklyn, New York, create a stuffed bear in honour of Roosevelt’s actions and name it ‘Teddy’s Bear’. The Mitchums found the first teddy bear manufacturer in the United States. It is called the Ideal Novelty and Toy Company.
    1903 March – Steiff introduces his bear at the Leipzig Toy Fair. Steiff sells 3,000 of its Baer 55PB to American toy buyer Herman Berg, who is aware of the growing teddy bear crazy in the United States. By the end of the year, the order had been increased to 12,000 bears.
  • 1904 – The Steiff trademark “Knopf im Ohr” (Button in Ear) is introduced. Originally there is an elephant on the relief. In 1905, the button is patented and the elephant is dropped for the company name.
  • 1906 October – American manufacturer E.J. Horsman places the first advertisement to use the words ‘Teddy Bear’ rather than ‘Teddy’s Bear’ in the American toy trade magazine Playthings.
  • 1907 – Music of the famous song, The Teddy Bear’s Picnic, is composed by John Walter Bratton. The song was originally called ‘The Teddy Bear Two-Step’. Bratton was an American composer, who lived from 1867 till 1947.
    1907Dean’s Rag Book Company publishes ‘Teddy Bear’, a children’s book written by Alice Scott and illustrated by Sybil Scott Paley.
  • 1908 – The English J.K. Farnell company makes the first British teddy bear.
  • 1919 – The first British comic teddy bear character, Bobby Bear, is published in the Daily Herald.
teddy bear

1920 – 1939

  • 1920 – Little Lost Bear, the first Rupert Bear picture story written and illustrated by Mary Tourtel, appears in the UK newspaper The Daily Express.
  • 1921 – German company Schuco patented the Yes/No bear, which shook its head ‘no’ or nodded ‘yes’ depending on how its tail was moved.
    1921 August 21A. A. Milne and his wife give an 18-inch-high teddy bear from Harrods’s in London to their son, Christopher Robin Milne, on his first birthday. The bear was later named Winnie the Pooh.
  • 1924 – Walt Disney produces ‘Alice and the Three Bears’, the first animation film with a teddy bear theme.
  • 1926 – A.A. Milne publishes Winnie the Pooh. The book is based on his son’s adventures with his teddy bear and other stuffed animals.
  • 1930 – Jimmy Kennedy writes the lyrics of ‘The Teddy Bear’s Picnic‘, which were set to the original music written in 1907.
  • 1935 – The original publication of Bolke the Bear, written by A.D. Hildebrand and illustrated by A. de Wolf.
Yogi Bear & Boo Boo

1940 – 1959

  • 1944 – Smokey Bear is adopted as the United States Forest Fire Prevention Campaign mascot.
  • 1945Aloysius is a teddy bear in ‘Brideshead Revisited’, a novel by Evelyn Waugh, published in 1945.
  • 1948Biffo The Bear appears for the first time in the Beano comic.
  • 1951 November 17 – the first episode of Petzi appears in Berlingske Aftenavis, a Danish newspaper, drawn by Wilhelm and Carla Hansen.
  • 1952 – First appearance of Sooty, the teddy bear glove puppet and magician, on British television.
  • 1957 – Elvis Presley releases a song entitled ‘Teddy Bear‘.
  • 1958 – The first Paddington story, ‘A Bear Called Paddington’ by Michael Bond, is published.
    1958Yogi Bear first appears on “Huckleberry Hound.” Yogi has his own show three years later.
  • 1959 – Walt Disney acquires the rights to Winnie the Pooh.
teddy bears

1960 – 1979

  • 1960Colargol is ‘born’ in France. His mother is Olga Pouchine, who creates the Colargol stories for her son.
  • 1962 December 10 – the first series of Nounours appears on French television.
  • 1964 June 3 – release date for ‘Hey There, It’s Yogi Bear!‘, with Yogi Bear.
  • 1967 October 18 – the Jungle Book is an American animated film produced by Walt Disney Animation Studios.
  • 1971 September 11 – the first episode of Help!… It’s the Hair Bear Bunch! is aired on CBS in the USA.
  • 1973 – The first issue of Bamse is published in Sweden and has been one of the children’s favourite in Sweden ever since. Bamse’s father is his drawer Rune Andréasson.
  • 1975 – Walt Disney’s first animated film of Winnie the Pooh is released.
  • 1976 October – the first series of the Bear Boat is aired on Dutch television.
    1976Fozzie Bear makes his appearance in the first episode of the Muppet Show.
Tatty Teddies

1980 – 1999

  • 1980Steiff celebrates their 100th anniversary and open the Steiff Museum in Giengen, Germany.
  • 1981The Care Bears are characters designed by American Greetings for greeting cards.
  • 1983 – The Oliver B. Bumble movie was the first Dutch animated feature film. It’s internationally known as ‘Dexter the Dragon & Bumble the Bear‘.
  • 1985 – The London auction house Christie, holds the first teddy bear only auction.
  • 1987Forever Friends Bears are designed by Deborah Jones.
  • 1989 – ‘Happy Anniversary’, a 1926 tipped mohair Steiff bear, was sold at auction in London for £ 55,000 to American Paul Volpp as a 42nd wedding anniversary gift for his wife, Rosemary.
  • 1994 January 4 – the cartoon series Teddy Trucks is aired by the BBC in Great Britain.
    1994 – ‘Teddy Girl’, a 1904 cinnamon Steiff bear was sold at auction in London for £ 110,000 to Yoshihiro Sekiguchi, founder of the Teddy Bear Museum in Izu, Japan.
  • 1996 – Yoshihiro Sekiguchi buys ‘Teddy Edward’, billed as the world’s most travelled bear, at auction for £ 34,500.
  • 1998 – Teddy bear ‘Guinness’ enters The Guinness Book of Records as the world’s smallest teddy bear, he’s just 8.5mm tall and made by Lynn Lumb of Halifax, England.
Forever Friends

2000 – 2014

  • 2000 – At a charity auction in Monaco, a South Korean businessman pays US $ 210,000 for a new Steiff teddy bear in Louis Vuitton clothes and accessories.
  • 2002 – The world celebrated the 100th anniversary of the teddy bear.
  • 2003 October 20 – the Disney movie Brother Bear is released in cinemas.
  • 2006 August 17 – Brother Bear 2 is released directly on DVD.
  • 2010 June 18 – Toy Story 3 is released with Lots-o’-Huggin’ Bear. He is a large, pink strawberry-scented teddy bear who is Woody’s arch-nemesis. He used to rule Sunnyside Daycare like a prison.
  • 2010 December 11 – Yogi Bear is a 2010 American live-action film adaptation of the Hanna-Barbera cartoon series The Yogi Bear Show.
  • 2014 November 23 – Paddington, a 2014 live-action animated comedy film is released in London. Based on the stories of the character Paddington Bear created by Michael Bond.