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I am also interested in plush animals, of which I have some, above all Teddy bears and hippos, like one can see on this images:

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And this is, how the Teddy bear came to his name (look also under "Etymologie"):


Here the story: The 26th president of ther USA, Theodore Roosevelt (ancestors came from the Dutch Rosenvelt, a far relative was F. D. Roosevelt) also has been called "Teddy". In November of the year 1902, this popular family man took 4 days holidays from politics, to go for bear hunting in Mississippi. The president had no luck and the only occasion, to slay a bear, was a caught and tied small bear. Roosevelt refused to shoot him. This occurence has been illustrated by the political caricaturist Clifford K. Berryman in the Washington Post. Through him, the bear became the symbol figure of the president. The plush bears, that occured at the same time in America, invented by the paraplegic Margarete and her Nephew Richard Steiff in Giengen/Wuerttemberg (suebian invention, like so much things!) immediately were called Teddy's bears. Up to 1908 the production grew from 3000 in the beginning to 975000!

And here Berryman's original caricature:

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On the left: The original caricature with Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt and the bear/ Middle: Margarethe Steiff/ Right: Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt

Links to Teddys and plush animals in the Internet:

Teddybär Online (German)

Vienna Teddy Bear Museum (German and English)

Steiff Bears (German and English)

Teddy Bear Museum, Petersfield, UK (English)

Teddy Bear Museum, Naples, US (English)

Teddy Bear Museum, Stratford-upon-Avon, UK (English)

Koesen-Shop, Plush Animals (German)