Teddy Bears

This passage discusses the origin of the teddy bear.

Lexile Level: 990L

Categories: History


Teddy bears are named for the 26th president of the United States, Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt. In November of 1902, the President refused to shoot a bear during a hunting trip, and later a cartoon about the incident appeared in newspapers all over the country. A husband and wife in New York put a cute stuffed bear in the window of their candy store to honor the President's action. People loved the bear and called it "Teddy's bear." So, the couple helped form a toy company that began selling thousands of stuffed bears. Meanwhile, in Germany, an art student designed a stuffed toy bear and took it to a toy show. An American who knew how popular "Teddy's bear" was becoming in the United States ordered thousands. Within a few years, all sorts of teddy bears were being made. They danced, walked, whistled, and turned somersaults. Early bears were handmade, but after World War II, factories began mass-producing cheaper bears. Collectors now pay a lot of money for the old handmade bears. A German one sold for $176,000 in 1994.


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