Writing the first true story of the Teddy Bear, the author reveals it was her grandfather who was the first toy buyer to purchase the now-famous toy bear made by the Steiff Company of Germany, seeing its potential to steal a child’s heart.
Sun Valley, ID (PRWEB) November 15, 2012
Teddy bears have been charming children all over the world for decades. Writing the first true story of the Teddy bear, the author reveals it was her grandfather who was the first toy buyer to purchase the now-famous toy bear made by the Steiff Company of Germany, seeing its potential to steal a child’s heart. Offering new details on its early days, this new book traces the history of the Teddy bear, including how it got its name and what happened to the lost 1903 shipment of Steiff’s first toy bears.
“The Untold Story of the Teddy Bear” is as much about toy importer Albion Parris Thorne as it is about the Teddy bear, describing his role representing Carson Pirie Scott & Company in Chicago at the turn of the century. Born in Brooklyn, he survived the Great Fire in Chicago, an epidemic of scarlet fever and, as a young boy lived with an American Indian tribe, eventually returning to the city where he got his first job with the Carson store. According to family lore, it was Albion’s suggestion to name the cuddly bear “Teddy” after the nation’s popular president, Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt.
The Steiff bears, made of costly plush fabric with movable arms and legs, were expensive and didn’t appeal to toy buyers when they were first displayed in 1902. When Thorne placed an order for 3,000 bears -- well beyond his budget, it saved Steiff’s small company from bankruptcy. Although they experienced an increase in sales in 1904, after the little bear was redesigned and exhibited at the St. Louis Fair, it wasn’t until the summer of 1906 that a surprising event in Chicago made the little bear front page news. That summer, when they appeared for the first time in advertisements in a New York magazine for the toy trade, their popularity grew, and by the end of 1907 it was well on its way to becoming the world’s most popular toy.
Family letters, photos, old newspaper articles and advertisements throughout the book, document the bear’s history and importance to Thorne’s family. Tracing the story of the Teddy Bear’s success from Margarete Steiff’s first toy bear to their current popularity, the author has included stories and photos of today’s award winning artists and their unique handmade bears.
Author Patricia Thorne, who spent 15 years on the research for this book, is a writer and graphic artist living in Sun Valley, Idaho where she raised her family. Her first career was in national advertising in Chicago in 1952. This was followed by a post as assistant editor and art director for the American Library Association’s trade publication until she joined her husband when he established his own advertising agency. She admits it was her Steiff bear her grandfather gave her that became her most cherished toy.
For additional information, please visit http://www.teddybearsuntoldstory.com
The Untold Story of the Teddy Bear, by Patricia Thorne
Dog Ear Publishing
ISBN; 978-1-4575-1323-7 (Paperback) 160pages $34.95
ISBN -978-1-4575-1324-4 (Hardcover) 160pages $48.95