On This Day: 1903, toy store owner and inventor Morris Michtom placed two stuffed bears in his shop window, advertising them as Teddy bears. Teddy Bear was invented in honour of President Theodore Roosevelt for refusing to shoot a bear that was cornered, clubbed, and tied to a willow tree after a long exhausting chase with hounds by his assistant. Roosevelt refused to shoot the bear himself, deeming this unsportsmanlike, but instructed that the bear be killed to put it out of its misery, and it became the topic of a political cartoon by Clifford Berryman in The Washington Post on November 16, 1902.

The news of this event spread quickly through newspaper articles across the country. The articles recounted the story of the president who refused to shoot a bear.

After receiving Roosevelt’s permission to use his name, Michtom mass-produced the toy bears which were so popular that he soon founded the Ideal Toy Company and, before long, other toy manufacturers began turning out copies of Michtom’s stuffed bears, which soon became a national childhood institution.


Created by Okey Obiabunmo


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