The Name Teddy Bear

There are some different stories about why Teddy Bears are called Teddy Bears. Here are two of them, from which the first one is the most serious…

Part 1

On November the 14th 1902, Theodore Roosevelt, the then president of the United States of America, visited Mississippi to solve a boundary dispute among the southern states. Teddy, as he was often called, was an enthusiastic hunter en he eagerly accepted the invitation to go on a bear hunt after the talks. They soon found a trail of a bear, but when the president got the animal in his sites and saw it was a helpless little cub, he just couldn’t shoot this nice little bear.

Off course this made all the papers and all America smiled because of their soft hearted president. Political cartoonist Clifford K. Berryman of the Washington Evening Star, made a beautiful cartoon of Roosevelt, who made himself immense popular with this. The drawing by Berryman of this bear is probably the first portrait of a ‘teddy bear’ and stole the hearts of all Americans. The image as a cuddly toy became very popular. In almost every home you found a soft, cuddly bear. Even bear friend Roosevelt had one in the White House, sitting on his desk.

In this way the president of America, without knowing, had launched a new craze.

Part 2

There is the story that Edward VII (King of England) was very fond of na Australian Koala bear at the London Zoo, which was called Teddy’s bear in his honour. This would explain why a number of early toy bears were called ‘Edward’. Perhaps is also promoted the apocryphal tale that one of the King’s lady friends remarked that ‘she liked her Teddy bare’!