Using Berryman’s cartoon as a guide, he quickly worked out a pattern, and, his wife, Rose cut and stuffed a piece of plush velvet into the shape of a bear, sewed on shoe button eyes, creating a little jointed bear cub. On February 15th 1903, Morris put into his shop window at 404 Tompkins Avenue in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn with a copy of the cartoon, and a handwritten notice saying ‘Teddy’s Bear‘.
To his surprise, not only did someone enter the store asking to buy the bear, but twelve other potential customers also asked to purchase it. Aware that he might offend the president by using his name without permission, the Michtoms mailed the original bear to the White House, offering it as a gift to the president’s children and asking Roosevelt for the use of his name. The President apparently replied telling the Michtoms he doubted his name would help its sales but they were free to use it if they wanted.
Because of “Teddy’s Bear’s” popularity, Roosevelt and the Republican Party adopted it as their symbol in the election of 1904, and Michtom bears were placed on display at every public White House function.
The Bears sold very well, and within a year, Michtom closed his candy store, and founded the Ideal Novelty and Toy Co., which remained in family hands until the 1970s – still one of the biggest toy firms in the world.
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, Hermann Berg of New York wholesalers George Borgfeldt and Co., came up to him, bought the entire lot of 100 bears and ordered 3,000 more on the spot. And so the Teddy Bear was born, and sent on his way to international success.