Few toys are more endearing than soft, cuddly teddy bears. An intrinsic part of most people’s growing years, teddy bears are synonymous with precious childhood memories, warmth and a sense of comfort. As a toy, teddy bears were manufactured in the early 20th century and the first teddy bears were made just like real life cubs. Since then, teddy bears have evolved in terms of design, form and finish and still remain arguably one of the most popular toys for children. Teddies are also gifted to adults as a symbol of affection and love.
Theodore Roosevelt connection
Did you know that the Teddy bear is actually named after US President Theodore Roosevelt? It was in 1902 that the President was invited on a bear hunting trip near Onward, Mississippi during which he could not locate a single bear unlike his fellow hunters. One of his assistants, caught a bear and tied it to a tree and asked Roosevelt to shoot it. The latter however refused given that it would be highly unsportsmanlike. The news of this story spread across the country and it appeared in newspapers and cartoons. Morris Michtom who owned a candy shop in New York saw this cartoon. His wife Rose who made stuffed animals decided to create a stuffed toy bear and called it Teddy Bear in honour of the President who refused to shoot the animal. Morris Michtom started marking teddy bears on a large scale after obtaining permission to use the name and soon founded the Ideal Toy Company.
As an ode to this coveted toy, which is a quintessential symbol of friendship and dependability, Teddy Bear Day is celebrated each year on 09-September. And if you are a lover of teddy bears, an ideal way of celebrating this day is to visit the incredibly attractive Teddy Bear Museum in Baden, Switzerland. Yet another unique museum in Switzerland, this one is a great place to visit.
Located in the picturesque town of Baden which is also known for its thermal baths, the Teddy Bear Museum is situated within a quaint house in Upper Halde and is spread over three floors. It is located just about half an hour from Zurich and is a must visit if you are a fan of teddy bears and toys. The museum is the brain child of teddy bear mum Maria Kaufmann who is passionate about collecting teddy bears. The museum has over 1000 bears arranged according to different themes. It displays the bears in real life situations and shows teddy bears attending school, going to a picnic, doing the laundry, attending a wedding and the like. Each display unit is impeccably planned with tremendous attention to detail.
There is a small section on the traditional Swiss wooden, handmade toys as well. Some of the bears are over a hundred years old and have shoe buttons sewed for their eyes. It is interesting to note that it was only from 1908 that handmade glass eyes were crafted for teddy bears. The teddy bears in the museum are from multiple toy companies and brands like Steiff, Hermann, Schuco, Bing Brothers, Petz, Ideal and Mutzli.