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Teddy Bear Timeline

In 2002, the world celebrated the 100th anniversary of the Teddy bear. Some of the milestones of that 100-plus-year journey are....

1834Robert Southey wrote "Goldilocks and the Three Bears."
Around 1850 The Knickerbocker Toy Company was founded in Albany, New York, and initially manufactured educational toys. The first Teddy bears attributed to Knickerbocker are from around 1925, when the company started to use permanent labels.
1880 Margarete Steiff founded the Steiff Company.
1894 German toy company Gebrüder Sussenguth featured a stuffed bear toy in its catalog.
1897 Bear skittles and "roly-poly" toy bears were featured in the Steiff catalogue, and the Steiff company had its own stand at the Leipzig toy fair.
1898 German immigrant Adolph Gund founded Gund, which is now the oldest plush toy company in the United States.
1899 Margarete Steiff registered patents for 23 of her soft toy designs, including a dancing bear and a bear handler with a brown bear
November 1902 US President Theodore Roosevelt refused to shoot a tethered bear, thinking it unsportsmanlike and ordering the bear's release.
November 16, 1902 Clifford Berryman's cartoon "Drawing the Line in Mississippi" was first published in The Washington Post.
November 1902 Morris Michtom sold the first "Teddy's Bear" in his Brooklyn shop.
March 1903 Steiff Company sold 3000 of its Baer 55PB or "Friend Petz" to American toy buyer Herman Berg. (By the end of the year, the order had been increased to 12,000.)
1903 The Michtoms formed the Ideal Novelty and Toy Co. with Butler Brothers, a wholesaling company.
March 1904 Steiff introduced the button in the ear characteristic.
1905 Steiff patented the words "Knopf im Ohr" (Button in Ear). The slogan remains the Steiff trademark to this day.
1905 President Theodore Roosevelt adopted the Teddy Bear as his political mascot during his successful 1905 Presidential election campaign. Clifford Berryman continued to use the bear in most of his political cartoons.
May 1906 The first advertisement for plush bear toys, still called Bruins, appeared in the American toy trade magazine Playthings.
1906 The Gund Manufacturing Corporation was founded.
October/November 1906 American manufacturer E.J. Horsman placed the first advertisement to use the words "Teddy Bear" in the American toy trade magazine Playthings.
1907 Dean's Rag Book Company published "Teddy Bear," written by Alice Scott and illustrated by Sybil Scott Paley.
1907 Seymour Eaton published "The Roosevelt Bears" newspaper strip in book form.
1907 American composer J.K. Bratton wrote the music for "The Teddy Bear's Picnic," which was originally called "The Teddy Bear Two-Step."
1908 Dean's Rag Book Company advertised cut-out-and-sew Teddy bears in Home Chat magazine.
1908 J.K. Farnell company made the first British Teddy bears.
1909 "Little Johnny and the Teddy Bears," the first animated Teddy bear cartoon, was made in the USA.
1910 Bernard Fleischaker and Hugo Baum founded the Effanbee (pronounded "F and B") Company in New Jersey.
1911 The Bruin Boys first appearance in Arthur Mee's "Children's Encyclopedia."
1912 Gaspare Gatti's Teddy bear survived the 1912 Titanic disaster (Gatti unfortunately did not).
1912 Steiff created black Teddy bears to give as mourning gifts after the sinking of the Titanic.
1915 Dean's advertised plush Teddy bears, made in their new workshop, in its Kuddlemee toys catalog.
1915 Large-scale toy bear manufacturing began.
1919 The first non-stop Atlantic flight by Teddy bears occurred when aviation pioneers Alcock and Brown took Teddy bear mascots with them on their record-breaking flight.
1919 The first British comic-strip Teddy bear character, Bobby Bear, was published in the Daily Herald.
1920 The Knickerbocker Toy Company began operation.
1920 Little Lost Bear, the first Rupert Bear picture story written and illustrated by Mary Tourtel, appeared in the UK newspaper The Daily Express.
1920s and 1930s Musical bears and mechanical bears were very popular.
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 J.K. Farnell set up the Alpha works and made bears designed by Cybil Kent.
August 21, 1921 A. A. Milne and his wife gave an 18-inch-high teddy bear from Harrod's in London to their son, Christopher Robin Milne, on his first birthday. (The bear was later named Winnie-the-Pooh.)
1924 Walt Disney produced "Alice and the Three Bears," the first color animation film with a Teddy bear theme.
1926 The first Edition of Winnie-the-Pooh by A.A. Milne was published.
1930 UK firm Merrythought made its first Teddy bears with designs by Florence Atwood.
1930 Jimmy Kennedy wrote the lyrics of "The Teddy Bear's Picnic," which were set to the original music written in 1907.
1938 H.M. Queen Elizabeth (now The Queen Mother) granted a Royal Warrant to British Teddy bear makers Chad Valley.
1944 Smokey Bear was adopted as the mascot of the United States Forest Fire Prevention Campaign.
1948 "Biffo The Bear" appeared for the first time in The Beano publication.
1952 Sooty, the Teddy bear glove puppet and magician, made his first appearance on British television.
1953 Steiff celebrated the Golden Jubilee of Steiff bears with a new style bear, "a comical young bear cub," called Jackie Baby.
1954 Wendy Boston, a Welsh toy maker, produced the first truly washable Teddy bear.
1956 The real Pooh and friends were put on display at E.P. Dutton & Co. Publishers in New York City.
1957 Elvis Presley first sang "Teddy Bear."
1958 The first Paddington story, "A Bear Called Paddington" by Michael Bond, was published.
1958 Yogi Bear first appeared on "Huckleberry Hound." Yogi had his own show three years later.
1959 Walt Disney acquired the rights to Winnie-the-Pooh.
1962 Colonel Bob Henderson launched The Teddy Bear Club.
1962 Margaret Baker published "The Shoe Shop Bears."
1963 Russ Berrie and Company was founded in New Jersey by – who else? – Russ Berrie. Mr. Berrie passed away in 2002.
1964 Ideal founders' son Benjamin Michtom gave a 1903 teddy bear to Theodore Roosevelt's grandson Kermit, who then donated it to the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, D.C.
1969 Peter Bull published "Bear With Me" (published as "The Teddy Bear Book" in the United States)
1969 Jim Ownby launched the Good Bears of the World charity.
1969 The real Pooh and friends visited England for an exhibition of the Ernest H. Shepard's drawings, on the occasion of the illustrator's 90th birthday.
1974 American doll maker Beverly Port presented Theodore B. Bear, a bear she had made, with one of her dolls.
1975 Beverly Port presented a slide show she had created about Teddy bears for the United Federation of Doll Clubs. Port also coined the phrase "Teddy Bear Artist" and is credited by many as beginning the industry.
1975 Walt Disney's first animated film of Winnie-the-Pooh appeared.
1976 The real Pooh and friends make their last trip to England to participate in the 50th birthday of Winnie-the-Pooh arranged by Methuen & Company Publishers.
1979 Peter Bull designed his traditionally styled Bully Bears for House of Nisbet.
1979 Marquis of Bath organized the Great Teddy Bear Rally at Longleat.
1980 The Steiff Co. introduced a special edition bear to commemorate their 100th anniversary, the success of which enabled them to begin reproducing some of their originals and to open the Steiff Museum in Geingen, Germany.
1981 Peter Bull's 1907 American bear, Delicatessen, starred in the television adaptation of Evelyn Waugh's novel "Brideshead Revisited."
1981 Doll Reader magazine first used the term "Teddy bear artist."
1983 Teddy Bear and Friends magazine was established.
1984 Gary Lowenthal designed a 12-inch, fully jointed wool bear named "Matthew," and began the Boyds Collection as it is today.
1985 Christie's of London held the first-ever Teddy bear-specific auction.
1986 The first Teddy bear museum opened in Berlin, Germany.
1986 Teddy Bear Review magazine was established.
1987 Teddy Bear Review magazine began presenting its annual Golden Teddy Awards to artists and manufacturers for outstanding bear design.
1988 Gyles and Michele Brandreth founded The Teddy Bear Museum in William Shakespeare's home town of Stratford upon Avon.
1989 The first British Teddy Bear Festival was held in London.
1989 "Happy Anniversary," a 1926 tipped mohair Steiff bear, was sold at auction in London for £55,000 (approximately $88,000 US) to American Paul Volpp as a 42nd wedding anniversary gift for his wife, Rosemary.
1989The National Association of Limited Edition Dealers (NALED) began presenting its annual Plush Collectible of the Year achievement award.
1990 The first Steiff UK Limited Edition was presented.
1990 Teddy Bear and Friends magazine began presenting its annual Teddy Bear of the Year (TOBY) Awards. TOBYs are presented for both Industry's Choice and Public's Choice categories.
1992 Annette Funicello (of Mickey Mouse Club and teen beach movie fame) founded the Annette Funicello Collectible Bear Company to fund research of neurological disorders such as Multiple Sclerosis.
1994 "Teddy Girl," a 1904 cinnamon Steiff bear formerly owned by Colonel Bob Henderson, was sold at auction in London for £110,000 (approximately $176,000 US) to Yoshihiro Sekiguchi, founder of the Teddy Bear Museum in Izu, Japan.
1996 Yoshihiro Sekiguchi bought "Teddy Edward," billed as the world's most traveled bear, at auction for £34,500 (approximately $55,200 US).
1996 The Bearington Collection, Inc., was founded in Marietta, Georgia. The business began as – and remains – family-owned and -operated.
1998 "Guinness" made by Lynn Lumb of Halifax, England, entered "The Guinness Book of Records" as the world's smallest Teddy bear. (He stands just 8.5 millimeters tall.)
1999 Dan Rothmel and Toni Samanie launched Jaymar Creations in Los Angeles, California (The name "Jaymar" is a combination of their middle names, Jay and Marie)
1999 Tanya and Roger Hall began creating Avalon Bears in Northumberland in the United Kingdom.
1999 Second Nature Designs introduced its Quarry Critter figurines.
2000 Steiff's Louis Vuitton bear sold in Monaco for approximately $210,000 US.
2002 The world celebrated the 100th anniversary of the Teddy Bear.
2002 Authentic Teddy bears was launched to coincide with the 2002 Teddy Bear Centennial. The company partnered with international Teddy bear designer Linda Mullins to develop faithful reproductions of the earliest American Teddy bears.

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