Why Were Teddy Bears Invented?

Why Were Teddy Bears Invented?

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Why Were Teddy Bears Invented? refers to a series of viral videos on TikTok explaining the origin of the name "teddy bear," explaining that they are named after former President Teddy Roosevelt. TikTokers uploaded numerous videos explaining this fact throughout the 2020s, sparking increased search interest in the term as users looked to find out if it was true or not.


According to the Carnegie Museum of Natural History,[1] teddy bears were named after President Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt. The site explains that Roosevelt went on a hunting trip with Mississippi governor Andrew Longino and a guide, Holt Collier, in the fall of 1901. Collier found a black bear for Roosevelt and tied it up for him to hunt, as Roosevelt and Longino were trailing behind. Roosevelt saw the tied up bear and refused to kill it, considering it unsportsmanlike. The story spread as an example of Roosevelt's compassion, inspiring Rose and Morris Michtom of Brooklyn, New York to sell a handmade plush bear in their candy store in honor of Roosevelt called a "Teddy's bear."

The story has been shared numerous times by TikTokers[2] throughout the 2020s, including an upload on October 24th, 2021. On January 25th, 2022, TikToker[3] @antonioparlati posted a video explaining the origin, garnering over 248,000 views in a year (shown below).

@antonioparlati Did you know? 🧸 #english #fyp #didyouknow #learnontiktok ♬ Teddy Bear – Melanie Martinez


On September 7th, 2022, TikToker[4] @mndiaye_97 posted a video explaining the origins of teddy bears, garnering over 1.4 million views in four months (shown below, left). On January 15th, 2023, TikToker[5] @calvinandhabs uploaded a similar video, garnering over 20,000 views in under a month (shown below, right). On January 31st, Dexerto[6] published an article about the question going viral on TikTok.

@mndiaye_97 Replying to @syow82 What makes this funnier is he actually hated the nickname Teddy #moreyouknow#learnsomethingnew#learnontiktok#teddybear#moreyouknow ♬ Blue Blood – Heinz Kiessling & Various Artists

@calvinandhabs January 6th: German teaches American History 🧸 #fyp #comedyvideo #german #january6 #teddybear ♬ original sound – Calvin & Habs

Various Examples

@notgabbyb That was really cool of Teddy R. #learnontiktok #history #nerd #storytime #thoughts #weirdthoughts @stakuyi ♬ original sound – Gabby Bell

@distinktive Did you have a Teddy bear growing up? #funfactstoknow #funhistoryfacts #historytok ♬ Funny Song – Cavendish Music

@gqmma__ #duet with @officialjessiivee no hate! #covid19 #2021 #conspiracy #cap ♬ original sound – Jessii Vee

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