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Teddy Bears are Fun to Sew!

Drawing the Line in Mississippi
Clifford Berryman, Washington Post, 1902
Image courtesy of Wikimedia

Shown here is Clifford Berryman's famous Drawing the Line in Mississippi cartoon illustrating President Theodore Roosevelt's bear hunting trip to Mississippi that resulted in the creation of the teddy bear that we know and love today. Apparently, the hunting trip was mostly unsuccessful and culminated in a bear being captured for the President to shoot. Disgusted, Roosevelt refused to shoot the helpless creature. After hearing this story, Berryman was motivated to draw this cartoon showing Roosevelt's disdain and refusal to shoot the bear. The title of the cartoon also obliquely refers to Roosevelt's reason for being in Mississippi which was to settle a border dispute between Mississippi and Louisiana.

The cartoon was published in 1902 in The Washington Post and became so popular it was reprinted in multiple papers. Seeing the cartoon, Morris and Rose Michtom, the owners of a candy store in Brooklyn sewed up a bear that was similar in appearance to bear in the cartoon with large ears and an innocent expression rather than being lifelike and ferocious. They called it "Teddy's Bear" and displayed it in the window of their candy store. A teddy bear craze quickly swept the nation during the early years of the twentieth century. Today, the cuddly teddy bear continues to be a classic and favorite toy among children and adults.

The first teddy bear toy went on sale February 15, 1903.

To see the free teddy bear patterns that I found online, click on the link below.

Free Teddy Bear Patterns

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