Teddy bears have been around since 1902. The teddy bear came to being when President Theodore Roosevelt refused to shot a black bear held captive by his hunting party. Also worth noting is that President Roosevelt's refusal to shoot this captive bear became a very popular political cartoon by Cliff Barryman.
A Brooklyn shopkeeper was inspired by the cartoon. The shopkeeper then asked President Rosevelt his permission to name a toy bear "Teddy". Thus became the creation of the teddy bear.
It is also worth noting that the teddy bear was born in Germany between 1902 and 1903.
The first teddy bears did not have cuddly faces or smiles, in fact, the first teddy bears had expressions which could best be described as stoic. Teddy bears were also quite stiff, the bendable arms and legs and soft, plush bodies came much later.
Now teddy bears are still the number one item to give babies as their first toy, the prize to win your girl on your first date, and most importantly, the toy of choice for law enforcement to give to children in sad, unsafe situations to help them calm down and feel safe.
The market for collectible teddy bears has seen significant growth in the last several years. A collectible teddy bear is very different than the typical store bought teddy that you might give a child. The industry defines collectible teddy bears as hard, not floppy, and fully jointed (meaning arms, legs, and head are moveable). The artists however, also determine collectibles. Steiff teddy bears and others have a very high collectible value.
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