The teddy bear is named after U.S. President Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt.
In 1902, President Roosevelt participated in a bear-hunting trip in Mississippi. While hunting, Roosevelt declared the behavior of the other hunters “unsportsmanlike” after he refused to kill a bear they had captured.
As news of the hunting trip spread, many newspapers around the country featured political cartoons starring “Teddy” and “the bear.”
Meanwhile, in Brooklyn, New York, a shop owner named Morris Michtom saw one of the cartoons and had an idea. Michtom and his wife created a plush, stuffed bears and placed them in the front window of their shop.
With permission from Roosevelt, Michtom named the bears “Teddy bears.” They were an instant success. Ladies and children carried the bears with them in public. President Roosevelt even used the teddy bear as his mascot when he ran for re-election.
Until 2006, the biggest teddy bear collection in the world could be found at The Teddy Bear Museum in England. The museum had a collection of more than 2,000 bears. Unfortunately, the museum was put up for auction in 2006.
Today, one family claims to own more than 5,000 teddy bears, though they haven’t officially counted them all. The Volpps’ collection includes a teddy bear that they purchased at auction for $88,000.