AMERICAN BEARS

THE HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN BEAR

Ideal was the first company to make teddy bears in the America. Its founder, Morris Michtom, is said to have taken his inspiration from the Clifford Berryman cartoon of Theodore Roosevelt failing to shoot a bear cub, to make his first bear.

Early Ideal American bears, have heavy looking bodies, triangular heads and long straight arms and legs.  During these early days America also made many incredible novelty bears. Including the 1907 Laughing Roosevelt Bear by the Columbia Teddy Bear Company, an open mouthed bear that displays large teeth like those of the President, and the 1917 red white and blue Patriotic Bear electric eyed bear who’s eyes lit up at the touch of a button hidden behind the mohair.
By 1908, in America alone over 20 companies were making stuffed teddy bears. It was the beginning of a love affair that was to carry on and continue for all time.

Other well-known American companies include Knickerbocker, Applause, Gund and the North American Bear Co, famous for their unusual character bears of famous people.