Primary Source Spotlight: Teddy Bears

Theodore Roosevelt as Rough Rider with Clifford Berryman's bear

Teddy bears got their name from Theodore Roosevelt. He had a soft heart for animals in general and in particular for a bear that his aides cornered and thought he would like as a hunting trophy. The incident inspired the cartoon illustration above which, in turn, inspired a New York toy store owner to create a toy stuffed bear he called “Teddy’s bear”.  Below you can find out more of the story and then explore teddy bear resources from the Library of Congress.

The teddy bear story from America’s Library

President Roosevelt’s 1902 bear hunt historical newspaper coverage

Teddy bear timeline & select newspaper articles 1902-1914

Teddy bear articles, stories, cartoons & advertisements

Two Teddy Bears in Toyland 1907

The Roosevelt Bears (Teddy B. and Teddy G.) book series Almanac of Theodore Roosevelt

Teddy bear images

The Library of Congress Presents the Songs of America: “The Teddy Bear’s Picnic” In The Muse blog February 5, 2014

Teddy bears’ picnic 1908 song recording

Teddy bear; March and two step 1907 sheet music

I’ve lost my teddy bear 1909 sheet music

Hibernation & teddy bears primary source set & teaching ideas