Steiff Bears and how did Willow Tree Bears get their name?

Well how did Willow Tree Bears get their name? First of all the name Teddy Bear comes from the former United States President Theodore Roosevelt whose nickname was "Teddy". The name originated from an incident on a bear-hunting trip in Mississippi in November 1902, to which Mississippi Governor Andrew Longino invited Roosevelt. There were several other hunters competing, and most of them had already killed an animal. A suite of Roosevelt's attendants, led by Holt Collier cornered and tied an American Black Bear to a Willow Tree after a long exhausting chase with his hounds. They called Roosevelt to the area and suggested that he should shoot it. He refused to shoot the bear himself, deeming this unsportsmanlike, but instructed that the bear be killed to put it out of its misery and it became the topic of a political cartoon by Clifford Berryman in The Washington Post on November 16, 1902. While the initial cartoon of an adult black bear lassoed by a handler and a disgusted Roosevelt had symbolic overtones, later issues of that and other Berryman cartoons made the bear smaller and cuter and this is how the name Willow Tree Bears all began.

Morris Michtom saw the drawing of Roosevelt and the bear cub and was inspired to create a new toy. He created a little stuffed bear cub and put it in his shop window with a sign that read "Teddy's bear," after sending a bear to Roosevelt and receiving permission to use his name. The toys were an immediate success and Michtom founded the Ideal Novelty and Toy Co.

At the same time in Germany, the Steiff firm, unaware of Michtom's bear, produced a stuffed Steiff bears from Richard Steiff's designs. Steiff exhibited the toy at the Leipzig Toy Fair in March 1903, where it was seen by Hermann Berg, a buyer for George Borgfeldt & Company in New York. He ordered 3000 to be sent to the United States. Although Steiff's records show that the bears were produced, they are not recorded as arriving in America, and no example of the type, "55 PB", has ever been seen, leading to the story that the bears were shipwrecked. However, the story is disputed - Gunther Pfieffer notes that it was only recorded in 1953 and says it is more likely that the 55 PB was not sufficiently durable to survive until the present day. Although Steiff and Michtom were both making teddy bears at around the same time, neither would have known of the other's creation due to poor transatlantic communication.

By 1906 manufacturers other than Michtom and Steiff had joined in and the craze for "Roosevelt Bears" was such that ladies carried them everywhere, children were photographed with them, and Roosevelt used one as a mascot in his bid for re-election.