Welcome to 'EmBears!
'EmBears handcrafted bears bring joy to children (and adults) of
all ages. We offer a variety of teddy bears and stuffed animals.
Click on any picture below, or choose a category on the left to
learn more about the 'EmBear bears, lambs, dogs, penguins, koalas, opossums and skunks that are up for adoption.
Teddy Bear History
"I don't think my name is likely to be worth much in the
toy bear business, but you are welcome to use it."
Theodore (Teddy) Roosevelt, 1903
How wrong Roosevelt was! In lending his name to a new plush
children's toy, the twenty-sixth President of the United States
unwittingly gave the toy industry the hook needed to manufacture
the most commercially successful toy, the Teddy Bear!
Stuffed toys were an active cottage industry by the end of the
nineteenth century. One such company, founded in 1880 belonged to
Margarete Steiff, an expert seamstress. At the turn of the
century, she introduced a new line - a stuffed bear.
Although bears had been the subject for children's pull toys for
some years, the Steiff bear did not capture the hearts and
imaginations of Europeans. She might have discontinued the line
entirely, except for a fateful incident. An American buyer for a
New York department store happened upon the Steiff booth at the
Leipzig trade show in March 1903, and to the utter amazement of
Margarete Steiff, ordered 3000 bears!!
The buyer was well aware that in 1902, President Roosevelt had
been on an unsuccessful bear hunting trip. At the end of a
frustrating day, his entourage managed to corner and tether a
bear cub. When invited to shoot the captive, Roosevelt refused,
disdaining such unsportsmanlike conduct. The incident was
illustrated in the Washington Post by Clifford Berryman. By the
time the New York buyer saw and ordered the Steiff bears, the
bear cub was well established in the minds of Americans as a
symbol of innocence and affection.
This first order of Steiff bears would not have been marketed as
teddy bears though, if it had not been for two Russian
immigrants, Morris and Rose Michton, who began to make a jointed
stuffed bear. Picking up on the popularity of the bear cub in
Berryman's cartoons, the Michtons struck upon the idea of calling
their creation a teddy bear. One of their stuffed bear toys, and
a letter asking permission to use the President s name was sent
to the White House. The rest is history...
And how did President Roosevelt react to the incredible
popularity of the teddy bear? Let it suffice to say that the
popular song The Teddy Bears' Picnic was used as a theme song
during Roosevelt's subsequent election campaign!
This material was prepared to accompany the "Bears In Toytown"
exhibit held at The Provincial Museum of Alberta November 28,
1998 - April 5, 1999.