Just why is the Teddy Bear such an enduring symbol of love, comfort and affection?
When a toy such as this lasts for more than a century, there has just got to be a reason.
But what is it about the teddy bear that makes it a lasting symbol in western society?
America's affair with the teddy bear began in the fall (autumn) of 1902 when the then US President Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt went on a bear hunting trip in the Southern United States and refused to shoot a captive bear.
Washington Post cartoonist Clifford Berryman depicted the bear incident in a cartoon and soon toy and novelty makers started creating the toy bears in a wide variety of styles.
Quickly the Roosevelt bear and Teddys Bear became the teddy bear and a president's hunting trip became the catalyst for an industry that spans the entire Western world.
Today, an estimated 2.5 million Americans collect teddy bears.
Bears seem to have a personality that is safe, comforting and cuddly. Little boys are allowed to love and cuddle teddy bears, where they have been culturally conditioned not to play with dolls
Children, especially girls, tend to keep their teddy bears and if they don't, their mothers often do.
The teddy bear is a social and cultural leveler that crosses class, religious and even national boundaries.