In 1903, Margarete Steiff made a stuffed bear after a trip to the zoo, the design was sparked by her nephew. The German toy maker was afraid of bears and thought that they might scare children. So, she designed her first bear with button eyes, a stitched mouths and noses and removable arms and legs. Then, in 1912 after the Titanic sank 500 teddy bears were made in honour of the victims, by the Steiff toy company. They were called the ‘mourning bears’ they were black in colour, with red lined eyes to show their compassion. They now sell for well over $35,000 cnd.
During World War I, a Canadian soldier brought a live black bear cub from a hunter, and the cub became a pet mascot for the brigade. They named the bear Winnipeg, and was later given to the London Zoological Gardens. This where Christopher Robin Milne, the Winnie-the-Pooh author’s son, met her and took such a liking to her that he named his teddy bear after her.
It was not till 1954, that the washable teddy bear was created. The stuffing of the teddy bears before then was extremely unhygienic. Wendy Boston and Ken William husband and wife toy makers from Wales, used nylon instead of mohair, wood wool, and other hard to clean materials.
0.29 Inches tall, is the smallest commercially sold stitched teddy bear, it is made by South African ‘micro-bears’ maker Cheryl Moss, who’s creations largest creations are not much taller than a half inch. However, the tallest bear that has been made towered over the miniature creations by Cheryl Moss. A 55 foot 4 inch stitched teddy bear was made in 2008 in the U.S.A. and its named C.T.Dreams, for short. Which stands for Connect the Dreams. You can visit him at the Exploration Place in Wichita, Kansas.