Richard saw an opportunity to make a bear toy, standing upright, and jointed in a similar way to dolls. There had been bear toys before, of course - often made from real fur - but, these had all been copies of real bears and on all fours. Richard's bear would be able to walk upright. Margarete Steiff liked the idea, and Richard set to work on visiting Zoo's to sketch the bears and come up with some proper designs.
|Richard admiring his Bear|
The press pack following Roosevelt's visit heard about the story, and it inspired cartoonist Clifford Berryman to draw a cartoon of the incident entitled "Drawing the Line in Mississippi". This cartoon was printed in all the papers, and triggered a moment of inspiration for Brooklyn candy store owner Morris Michtom. Using Berryman's cartoon as a guide, he quickly worked out a pattern, and his wife had soon put together a little jointed toy bear cub, which Morris put into his shop window with a copy of the cartoon and a handwritten notice saying "Teddy's Bear".
Back in Germany, unaware of what was going on in New York, Richard Steiff completed the designs for his toy bear, and Margarete quickly ran up a prototype from scraps of mohair cloth. The bear first appeared in public at the 1903 Spring Toy Fair at Leipzig, but - to Richard's disappointment, nobody seemed interested. Legend has it that it was only as Richard was packing away the stand at the end of the fair, that an American toy buyer came up to him, seized the bear and ordered 3000 on the spot.
.....AND, so the "Teddy Bear" was born, and sent on his way to international success.