1998 32¢ “Teddy” Bear Created
Celebrate the Century – 1900s
Issue Date: February 3, 1998
City: Washington, DC
Printed By: Ashton-Potter (USA) Ltd
Printing Method: Lithographed
Perforations: 11 ½
America and Germany both have claims to the creation of the teddy bear. The Steiff Company in Germany had been making lifelike toy animals since it was founded by Margarete Steiff in 1880. Her nephew, Richard, developed an idea for a bear with moving parts, which they created and showed at a toy fair in 1903.
In America, a popular cartoon was based on a hunting trip of President “Teddy” Roosevelt’s in November 1902. The cartoon showed the president refusing to shoot a captured bear. Inspired by this story, New York City shopkeepers, Rose and Morris Michtom, created a toy bear which they placed in their store window with a sign reading “Teddy’s Bear.” That first “teddy” bear sold immediately, and many more were ordered. Continued demand for the bear led to the founding of the Ideal Toy Corporation.
The bear pictured on the front dates back to 1908, when he was made by the Ideal Toy Corporation. He is the same bear photographed for the stamp and is from the collection of author and bear historian Dee Hockenberry.
After more than 90 years, teddy bears are more popular than ever. They can be seen in specialty museums and shops. Teddy bears are favorites in children’s rooms and stories, as well as in grown-up books and collections.