shopping 10.13.05

Teddys - Part 2

The First Teddys
In 1902, when Roosevelt was president, he was on a hunting trip in the south but refused as unsporting to shoot a bear that had been roped captive. Cartoonist Clifford K. Berryman of the Washington Post created a cartoon based on the incident that gave Morris and Rose Michtom of Brooklyn an idea. Paula Michtom, their granddaughter-in-law, told MUG:
Morris Michtom came to the U.S. from Czarist Russia where, as a teenager, he had gotten into trouble because of his anti-Czarist feelings. He opened a candy store in Brooklyn. When he saw the drawing in the New York Sun or Trib with TR refusing to shoot the tied-up bear, he was impressed by the difference between TR and the Czar. His wife, who was not known in the family as a very good seamstress, created a bear.
The Michtoms put it in the candy store window where, despite Mrs. Michtom's sewing skills, it attracted a lot of attention. Morris wrote to TR and received Roosevelt's reply that he was welcome to call it a teddy bear. A company was formed to produce the bears for sale, a company that later became the Ideal Toy Company. Of the original production run, eight are known to survive. One is in the Smithsonian and one is in the TR birthplace.

Bear Market
eBay, unsurprisingly, has thousands of vintage Steiff and other bears for auction and sale. In the city, FAO Schwarz has limited edition Steiffs that you can browse here. Theodor [sic] 1920, a limited edition of 1000 pieces, is completely irresistible (though at $675, you might resist it after all). Butterfield looks pretty cute, and he's $50 from Kidding Around, 60 W. 15th [5th/6th] 212.645.6337.

Bear Central these days is at the chain Build-a-Bear Workshop, 565 5th [46th] 212.871.7080. You can make your own in the store, buy dozens of bears (and other stuffed animals), as well as clothing and accessories.

Visit Winnie the Pooh and friends at home.

For down-and-out bears, excellent care (though, like all such care these days, not cheap) can be had at the NY Doll Hospital, 787 Lex [61st/62nd] 212.838.7527.
We had one of our best evenings last year thanks to Edward Hall's Propeller troupe from England performing A Midsummer Night's Dream. The group returns to BAM November 2-6, this time with The Winter's Tale. Only a small number of seats remain, but we wouldn't miss it for anything. Last year, we liked Midsummer so much, we went back to see it again two nights later. Tickets.


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