History of the Teddy Bear

Who is Teddy? And where can you and I meet this most famous bear? Bears everywhere, even the reclusive panda, all pay homage to a bear named Teddy. The true story of the Teddy Bear is the stuff – or should we say “stuffed” – legends are made of.

The most common explanation for the wholesale use of the term of the “teddy bear” begins in November 1902, when President Roosevelt went out west to help settle a border dispute between two southern states. While on the trip, Roosevelt went hunting, but had little luck. His friends trapped a bear, which had fought with and killed one of the group’s dogs. When Roosevelt saw what had happened, he ordered his men to humanely put the bear down.

Teddy Roosevelt political cartoon

The cartoon that started it all.

He redrew the cartoon, changing the angry bear to a small, frightened-looking cub. The story changed too. The newly minted legend said that, after hunting all day and not finding a thing, Roosevelt was given the opportunity to shoot a cub that his friends had captured. Naturally, Roosevelt refused. This account of Roosevelt’s trip caught on at a wholesale level and soon the cub was appearing everywhere in cartoons.

A turn of the century antique teddy bear.

The small cub cartoons caught the interest of Morris Michtom, the owner of gift shop in Brooklyn, New York. Michtom’s wife stuffed herself some bears with a little sewing and imagination. When they sold out in a few hours, Michtom decided to send Roosevelt a bear and get his endorsement. Roosevelt agreed and Michtom, along with a large wholesale company, Butler Brothers, began to created stuffed teddy bears and sell them everywhere. Michtom probably didn’t know it, but he had created a new piece of American heritage. Now teddy bears are sold in gift shops, flower shops, used in gift baskets, and just about everywhere.

Now check out our wholesale teddy bears!


The Humble Beginnings of the Homecoming Mum

At Plush in a Rush, we are a leading manufacturer of wholesale homecoming mum supplies. We feel it is our duty to explain briefly what a homecoming mum is for all of our customers who venture onto our homecoming mum supply pages…

The Chrysanthemum & Its Origins

The chrysanthemum was first grown in the Far East – China – as a flowering herb. It was first written about by scribes over 3,500 years ago. In fact their artwork shows mums as they would appear today. Folklore teaches that the boiled roots were taken as a headache medicine and ancient culinarians used sprouts and petals in salads. The leaves were even occasionally brewed for recreational purposes. The ancient Chinese name for chrysanthemum is “Chu.” The Chinese city of Chu-Hsien (which means Chrysanthemum City) is an eponym of the flower.

Yellow Chrysanthemum

Chrysanthemums are the inspiration for the silk flower used in homecoming mums.

2,800 years ago, the chrysanthemum then appears in Japan. The Japanese were enamored with the mum, that they decreed the flower would be the crest and seal of the Emperor. Family seals for prominent Japanese families of nobility also contain a type of mum: a Kikumon – “Kiku” means chrysanthemum and “Mon” means crest. In Japan, the Imperial Order of the Chrysanthemum is the most elite Order of Chivalry. Japan also has a mum festival, which is called the Festival of Happiness.

The Chrysanthemum in the West

The chrysanthemum was first introduced to the west during some 250 years ago. In 1753 Karl Linnaeus, the famous botanist from binomial nomenclature fame, combined the Greek words chrysos, meaning gold with anthemon, meaning flower. Botanical archaeologists say this is probably a true description of the ancient flower, as it also points out the mum’s need for sunlight. The earliest depictions of mums show them as small, yellow daisy-like flowers.

The chrysanthemum was first introduced into the United States during colonial times. 300 years later, its popularity has grown such that mums now reign as undisputed “Queen of the Fall Flowers.”

For many of us in the South, and for virtually all Texans, our introduction to the chrysanthemum was a corsage for the girlfriends and mothers at Homecoming football games. Check out our Pinterest board below for some great examples of modern-day mums.

Today, a silk flower has replaced the chrysanthemum as the centerpiece for homecoming mums. Currently you can find them decorated with dozens of charms, ribbons, bells, including the occasional high school mascot. Plush in Rush offers several unique items that can make your homecoming mum a high school favorite.

A notable difference of the positive feelings many Americans have of the mum (football games, house-warming presents, get-well thoughts), is that in many European countries the chrysanthemum is known as the death flower. In countries such as Belgium and Austria, the mum is used almost exclusively as a memorial on graves.

Now check out our wholesale homecoming mum supplies!