This bear is called Ted. He belonged to a little girl called Muriel who was born in 1901. Muriel gave the bear to her daughter Elizabeth when she was born in 1941.
The bear’s clothes were made by Muriel’s mother, Elizabeth’s grandmother, in the 1940s. Ted is wearing a navy blue, green and white tartan kilt inspired by the army uniform of the Black Watch regiment which Elizabeth’s half brother served in during the Second World War.
Ted also wears a khaki beret with three red feathers, a miniature copy of that worn by the regiment. Ted has his own gas mask made from stiffened black cloth and with metal plates to cover the eyes and nose. The mask was also made by Elizabeth’s grandmother and helped to ease the fear that Elizabeth had of wearing a similar one herself.
Ted was made by the German company Steiff in about 1906. Steiff was founded in 1877 by Margarete Steiff. Richard, one of her nephews, designed the first jointed teddy bear in 1902. This design was perfected in 1905. The company became the leading exporter of bears from Germany with Britain and the USA its biggest customers. Over the last 100 years, Steiff has consolidated its position in the world market. The company still maintains links with the Steiff family.