Highland Museum of Childhood
This teddy bear was made in the 1930s by the London-based manufacturer Dean’s, the first British company to produce teddy bears.
Once covered in soft and fluffy mohair, it is now worn and bare, and rough to the touch, suggesting that it has been well-loved during its history. Some teddy bears are passed from parent to child.
The bear’s original glass eyes are both missing and there is a small hole in the teddy bear’s back, giving a small glimpse to the coarse woodwool stuffing of its body. Its arms, legs and head are attached to the body by metal pins.
The teddy bear as we know it today was invented in honour of American President Theodore Roosevelt in 1902.
Whilst on a hunting expedition in Mississippi, Theodore, or ‘Teddy’ as he was called by some of his friends, was the only person in the hunting party to have not located even one single bear. Roosevelt made the news when he refused to shoot a bear that his ‘helpful’ friends had tied to a tree. Newspapers critiqued the president – the big game hunter who wouldn’t shoot a bear!
After Clifford Berryman, a political cartoonist, created a cartoon of the incident for the Washington Post, Brooklyn candy shop owner, Morris Michtom, created a stuffed toy bear and dedicated it to the President. He called it ‘Teddy’s Bear’.