The Teddy Bear is named after President Teddy Roosevelt, who while on a bear hunt refused to shoot an old, captured bear that had been tied to a tree. This incident was memorialized in a political cartoon, which in turn sparked a candy-store owner to brand his wife’s stuffed bears as Teddy’s Bears. An instant success, the Teddy Bear quickly became a beloved toy. Manufactures hoping to extend the trend took an a unusual direction when William Taft was elected to office. They presented the “successor” to the teddy bear, the ‘Billy Possum‘ an animal chosen to honor one of Taft’s favorite meals. Sadly, the Billy Possum never made the lasting impact the enduring Teddy Bear has, but it is a fun bit of trivia.
Teddy Bear, 5″x5″, ink and watercolor on illustration board