February 10th is Teddy Day aka Teddy Bear Day. It’s part of Valentine’s Week and it’s meant to give teddy bears to your loved ones. The bears are a symbol. A symbol of softness in a relation.
As you know teddy bears have their name thanks to the 26th President of the US, Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt. He refused to shoot a tied bear and a local entrepreneur picked up on the story with a special “teddy bear” and the rest is history.
But teddy bears have a lot more to share than that. Actually, the first teddy bear is made by Margarete Steiff, founder of the toy company Steiff. She made the first toy bear in 1902. It was later that very same year Roosevelt refused to shoot the bear cub. This is why most people tie the two events together, but it’s actually simply a matter of timing.
We all love bears
Over the years bears have made their way towards mainstream culture. In 1834 English writer Robert Southey wrote the fairy-tale Goldilocks and the Three Bears as one of the first stories featuring bears.
Teddy bears have been symbols in more ways than one. In 1912 the Titanic sunk during her first voyage. Margarete Steiff made a special black bear as a mourning symbol for those who lost family or friends in the accident.
In 1924 Disney produced the first color cartoon featuring teddy bears – Alice and the Three Bears. In 1926 A.A.Milne created Winnie-the-Pooh who is also inspired by a real life teddy bear.
Slowly the love for teddy bears grew more and more. In 1989 there was the first British Teddy Bear Festival in London.
Some of us love teddy bears way too much. American billionaire Paul Greenwod had the largest collection of teddy bears. In 2010 it was sold by the US government. The collection featured 1300 teddy bears and was sold for £1.1 million. Another family in the US lost their house because they spend all of their money on Beanie Babies. The largest collection now is over 10 000 toys.