[Ads-l] slight antedating of Teddy Bear

Dan Goncharoff thegonch at GMAIL.COM
Fri Dec 1 18:34:15 EST 2017


Not an antedating, but:

http://americanhistory.si.edu/collections/search/object/nmah_491375

The Smithsonian has a bear that is supposed to be a Michtom bear from 1903.

DanG

On Fri, Nov 24, 2017 at 2:44 AM, ADSGarson O'Toole <
adsgarsonotoole at gmail.com> wrote:

> Peter: A November 4, 1906 article in "The Sun" of New York credited
> "Marguerita Steiff" with conceiving the idea of the "Teddy bear". Your
> excellent essay uses a December 20, 1907 citation to connect Steiff to
> "teddy bear".
>
> Strictly speaking "The Sun" article is ambiguous because it says "She
> conceived the idea of the Teddy bear". That leaves open the
> possibility that her firm designed and built the toy, but did not name
> it.
>
> I noticed that you clipped the article, so you already know about it,
> but perhaps you did not see the passage below, or perhaps you felt you
> already had enough citations.
>
> Date: November 04, 1906
> Newspaper: The Sun
> Newspaper Location: New York, New York
> Article: Dolls Are Out, Bears Are In
> Quote Page 6, Column 4
> Database: Newspapers.com
>
> https://www.newspapers.com/clip/14034224/the_sun/
>
> [Begin excerpt]
> It is perhaps fitting that the rival of Miss Dolly, herself largely a
> product of Germany when she is of good ancestry, should be a native of
> the same country. For fifteen years past Marguerita Steiff has made
> stuffed animal toys like the bear her specialty. She conceived the
> idea of the Teddy bear, which was put on the market a year ago. All
> the past summer the popularity of the bear increased amazingly.
> [End excerpt]
>
> Garson
>
> On Thu, Nov 23, 2017 at 11:01 PM, Peter Reitan <pjreitan at hotmail.com>
> wrote:
> > The syndicated newspaper cartoon series, "The Roosevelt Bears,"
> featuring Teddy G. (a grizzly) and Teddy B. ( a brown bear), debuted in
> January 1906.  Ads for it appeared in December 1905.  Teddy B. and Teddy G.
> bears were mass marketed.  The Teddy Bear craze was in full swing by June.
> That may have been the biggest pop-culture influence in making it
> ubiquitous, but it was nit first.
> > ________________________________
> > From: Dan Goncharoff<mailto:thegonch at GMAIL.COM>
> > Sent: ‎11/‎23/‎2017 19:52
> > To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU<mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> > Subject: Re: slight antedating of Teddy Bear
> >
> > ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -----------------------
> > Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> > Poster:       Dan Goncharoff <thegonch at GMAIL.COM>
> > Subject:      Re: slight antedating of Teddy Bear
> > ------------------------------------------------------------
> -------------------
> >
> > One fact that may (ahem) bear on the story: Abraham and Straus was the
> > biggest department store in Brooklyn. In 1906, it promoted a live Teddy
> > Bear that accompanied its Santy Claus in Toyland. It also promoted its
> > imported bears in four sizes. There is no mention of bears at all in its
> > ads in 1905.
> >
> > On Nov 23, 2017 5:04 PM, "Peter Reitan" <pjreitan at hotmail.com> wrote:
> >
> >> In January 2016, Sam Clements reposted a reference<http://listserv.
> >> linguistlist.org/pipermail/ads-l/2016-January/140569.html> to what
> seems
> >> to be the earliest known use of "Teddy Bear" in print, from an
> >> advertisement in The Syracuse Post-Standard, November 20, 1905.
> >>
> >>
> >> http://listserv.linguistlist.org/pipermail/ads-l/2016-
> January/140569.html
> >>
> >>
> >> I've found the same advertisement in the same paper two days earlier,
> and
> >> a different Syracuse paper six days earlier.
> >>
> >>
> >> =E2=80=9CTeddy=E2=80=9D bears holding little cubs in their arms like
> real=
> >  mothers are the
> >> latest arrivals; be sure to see them; see all other things as they come
> >> along, but most are already here.
> >>
> >> Syracuse Herald, November 14, 1905, page 7.
> >>
> >> I just posted a new piece on the history of "Teddy Bear," the word and
> th=
> > e
> >> toy.
> >>
> >> The standard origin-story credits Rose and Morris Michtom of Brooklyn,
> wh=
> > o
> >> saw a political cartoon memorializing a Teddy Roosevelt bear hunt, in
> whi=
> > ch
> >> he famously refused to shoot a captured, injured young bear tied up for
> h=
> > is
> >> killshot.  The Michtoms made a toy copy of the cartoon bear cub, sent a
> >> letter to Roosevelt asking for permission to use his name, it was an
> >> "immediate success" and the rest is history.  No contemporary evidence
> >> supports their claim, although they were manufacturing Teddy bears by
> 190=
> > 7,
> >> and their company grew into the Ideal Toy Company, one of the largest
> toy
> >> companies in the world.
> >>
> >> Margarete Steiff's company in Germany has contemporary documentation
> from
> >> business records and her diary that places their "invention" of what
> woul=
> > d
> >> later be called "Teddy Bear" in 1902, a few months before Roosevelt's
> bea=
> > r
> >> hunt.  They received their first large order for the bears from an
> Americ=
> > an
> >> buyer at the Leipzig toy fair in about March 1903, a few months after
> >> Roosevelt's bear hunt and a couple months after legend has it the
> Michtom=
> > s
> >> placed their first "Teddy Bears" on sale.
> >>
> >> A problem with the Michtoms' story is that the earliest known reference
> t=
> > o
> >> "Teddy Bear" in print, with reference to a stuffed, toy bear, is
> late-190=
> > 5,
> >> so their teddy bears do not seem to have been the "immediate success"
> as =
> > it
> >> is generally characterized.  There was, however, a reference to two
> kinds
> >> of "Teddy's bears" sold at Roosevelt's early 1905 inauguration - one
> >> referred to buttons with an image of a bear (perhaps the famous cartoon
> >> image) and the other to a mechanical "dancing bear."  The mechanical
> bear
> >> is not described, but there were cast-iron dancing bears as early as
> 1901=
> > ,
> >> and there were mechanical bears with faux fur in existence before the
> >> famous bear hunt.  Also, several actual bears were named for Roosevelt,
> >> even before the famous bear hunt.
> >>
> >> So it is not clear that the Michtoms' purported decision to call them
> >> "Teddy Bears" had any real effect on the ultimate name, or whether they
> >> made and named the bear as early as they claim.
> >>
> >> I've laid out a lot of the evidence, one way or another, in two blog
> post=
> > s:
> >>
> >> Most recent:
> >> Hunting down the Origin of "Teddy Bear"<https://esnpc.blogspot.
> >> com/2017/11/margarete-steiff-morris-michtom-and.html>
> >> https://esnpc.blogspot.com/2017/11/margarete-steiff-
> >> morris-michtom-and.html
> >>
> >> Last year:
> >>
> >> A Grizzly History and Etymology of "Teddy Bears"<https://esnpc.blogspot
> .
> >> com/2016/02/teddy-roosevelt-and-his-bears-grizzly.html>
> >> https://esnpc.blogspot.com/2016/02/teddy-roosevelt-and-
> >> his-bears-grizzly.html
> >>
> >> Peter Reitan
> >>
> >> ------------------------------------------------------------
> >> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
> >>
> >
> > ------------------------------------------------------------
> > The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
> >
> > ------------------------------------------------------------
> > The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>

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