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SATURDAY 5 JULY 2008

Teddy bears

 

 

DRAWING THE LINE IN MISSISSIPPI

 

Theodore Roosevelt became President of the USA in 1901 following the assassination of his predecessor, President McKinley.  One of his first tasks was to settle a minor dispute between the states of Louisiana and Mississippi.

 

 The Louisiana Purchase

In the 18th century, the newly fledged United States was surrounded by colonial powers: Britain in Canada, Spain in Florida, the Caribbean, Mexico and southern California and Russia along the West Coast from northern California to Alaska.   France held a huge tract of land stretching from New Orleans into the Mississippi basin, a territory named Louisiana after the French King Louis.

 

Not long after the French Revolution, Napoleon and President Jefferson made a deal in which the whole of Louisiana was sold to the United States.   For $11,250,000, the United States doubled the area of its territory.   However the exact boundaries were vague and became the source of territorial disputes for the next hundred years.

The American state of Louisiana was just the southern part, largely bounded to the east by the meanders of the Mississippi river, across which lay the state of Mississippi.  The river was the border as far as latitude 31o N.  There, the border left the river to ensure that New Orleans, the capital town that sprawled across the river delta, lay entirely in Louisiana.  The exact course of the boundary was in dispute.

 

The Bear Hunt

Theodore Roosevelt and John Muir tour the Yosemite in 1903

Theodore Roosevelt was an active outdoorsman.   Later on, he promoted the growing conservation movement and endorsed John Muir’s campaign to save the Yosemite and Grand Canyon as National Parks.   In the past he’d raised volunteer cavalry from cowboys and friends to help defeat the Spanish in the brief Caribbean War of 1898.   He loved hunting.

 

Teddy Roosevelt as President                       Teddy Roosevelt as hunter

 

With the President called south to  help sort out the border dispute between Mississippi and Louisiana, his hosts in Mississippi sought to gain his favour by arranging a bear hunt.  The day went badly and no bears were found.   In desperation, his hosts  tied a captured bear cub to a stake for the President to find and shoot.   The ploy misfired because the President felt it was unsporting to shoot a tethered animal  and cruel to kill a young cub.

Clifford Berryman’s cartoon in the Washington Post  15 November 1902

The press were at hand and the next day the Washington Post carried the headine “Drawing the Line in Mississippi” above a cartoon of the President refusing to shoot the bear.  The result of the border dispute went unreported.

 

Teddy’s Bear

The cartoon and the story of “Teddy” Roosevelt’s bear caught the nation’s imagination.  A Russian immigrant family called Michtom in his home town of New York started making a stuffed toy copy of the cartoon animal and marketed it under the name of “Teddy’s bear”.  By 1906 they received presidential permission to call their toy a “teddy bear”.

Teddy bear’s picnic

The teddy bear became so popularly associated with Theodore Roosevelt that he used “The Teddy Bear’s Picnic “as his theme music for the 1906 Presidential election campaign.

 

Meanwhile in Europe

Some time around 1880, a German family under a seamstress Margarete Steiff began making stuffed toy animals.  In 1901, she added a new refinement.  She made an animal –a brown bear– with moveable arms and legs.  The numbers were small but she exhibited an example of her work at the 1903 Leipzig Trade Fair.  An American buyer, realising how strongly the story of “Teddy’s bear” had gripped popular taste, ordered 3000.   The Steiff business never looked back.


Today a Steiff teddy bear has become a precious antique.  A bear like the one in the picture sold for a world record price of £110,000 at Christies in 1994.

 

BARRIE’S BEARS

the late Barrie Corlson takes his watch on the bridge at Penicuik Town Hall

 

Teddy bears exhibition - Cowan Institute Penicuik Town Hall- Barrie's Bears - Saturday 5 July 2008

Teddy bears exhibition - Cowan Institute Penicuik Town Hall- Barrie's Bears - Saturday 5 July 2008

Teddy bears exhibition - Cowan Institute Penicuik Town Hall- Barrie's Bears - Saturday 5 July 2008

Teddy bears exhibition - Cowan Institute Penicuik Town Hall- Barrie's Bears - Saturday 5 July 2008

Teddy bears exhibition - Cowan Institute Penicuik Town Hall- Barrie's Bears - Saturday 5 July 2008

Teddy bears exhibition - Cowan Institute Penicuik Town Hall- Barrie's Bears - Saturday 5 July 2008

Teddy bears exhibition - Cowan Institute Penicuik Town Hall- Barrie's Bears - Saturday 5 July 2008

Teddy bears exhibition - Cowan Institute Penicuik Town Hall- Barrie's Bears - Saturday 5 July 2008

Teddy bears exhibition - Cowan Institute Penicuik Town Hall- Barrie's Bears - Saturday 5 July 2008

Teddy bears exhibition - Cowan Institute Penicuik Town Hall- Barrie's Bears - Saturday 5 July 2008

Teddy bears exhibition - Cowan Institute Penicuik Town Hall- Barrie's Bears - Saturday 5 July 2008

Teddy bears exhibition - Cowan Institute Penicuik Town Hall- Barrie's Bears - Saturday 5 July 2008

Teddy bears exhibition - Cowan Institute Penicuik Town Hall- Barrie's Bears - Saturday 5 July 2008

Teddy bears exhibition - Cowan Institute Penicuik Town Hall- Barrie's Bears - Saturday 5 July 2008 Teddy bears exhibition - Cowan Institute Penicuik Town Hall- Barrie's Bears - Saturday 5 July 2008

Teddy bears exhibition - Cowan Institute Penicuik Town Hall- Barrie's Bears - Saturday 5 July 2008

Teddy bears exhibition - Cowan Institute Penicuik Town Hall- Barrie's Bears - Saturday 5 July 2008

Teddy bears exhibition - Cowan Institute Penicuik Town Hall- Barrie's Bears - Saturday 5 July 2008

BARRIE’S BEARS Cowan Institute  Penicuik Town Hall

 

SATURDAY 5 JULY 2008

Teddy bears.

 

OTHER SATURDAY DISPLAYS IN THE COWAN INSTITUTE: PENICUIK TOWN HALL

 

 STOP PRESS 2010 HELP US SAVE JACKSON STREET SCHOOL

 

 

Penicuik Saturday Museum in the Town Hall:

Penicuik exhibitions

A few of the 100 or so Penicuik Open House weekly displays to date

 

KITTY FYFFE’S POSTCARDS

HEAT & LIGHT

OLD TOOLS

POSTERS

CAMERAS

OLD BOTTLES

SHOES & BOOTS

NEWS

HATS

U3A

ART

THE COWAN PAPER ADVERTISEMENTS OF 1944

FIFTY YEARS OF CUIKEN SCHOOL

PENICUIK’S CLYDESDALE BANK

PENICUIK INVESTORS IN THE US

LINEN

GAMES

TEDDY BEARS

MODEL BOATS

ALPINE FLOWERS

SIGNWRITING

HANDBAGS

ARTILLERY

SCOUTING

PENICUIK CO-OP

DISCOVERY AWARDS

CARNETHY HILL RACE

JACKSON STREET SCHOOL

SALTIRE HOUSING EXHIBITION

ROSLIN & THE STORY OF BOVRIL

THE FILMS OF ALFRED HITCHCOCK

DAME MURIEL SPARK: Scottish by formation

childrens book illustration of GERMANO OVANI

Galashiels Co-operators & the ideas of William King

IMAGES OF ESKBRIDGE  from Jim Neil’s collection

CORNBANK:  Penicuik’s Radburn estate from the 1960s

PENICUIK RAILWAY and its designer THOMAS BOUCH

Penicuik’s Concorde Designer  JAMES ARNOT HAMILTON

Penicuik’s International Photographer      ALBERT WATSON

Carlops’ International City Planner            THOMAS ADAMS

General MACZEK & the GREAT POLISH MAP of SCOTLAND

 

ALEXANDER COWAN’S INSTITUTE

 illustrated by his great-great-great grandson Robin Macfarlan

 

The Cowan Institute -with library, halls and recreation rooms- was given to the people of Penicuik by the will of Alexander Cowan, papermaker. Operated for most of its life by the Cowan Trust, it was passed in 1960 to local management under the care of the Burgh of Penicuik.

On local government reorganisation in the mid 1970s the Burgh’s assets became vested in Midlothian Council, including the Cowan Institute and the endowments for social facilities the earlier Trust had provided.  Penicuik Community Development Trust was formed by public concern for the fate of the building after reports of its possible sale in 2005.

The Trust is a registered charity (SC037990) run and entirely supported by the efforts of Penicuik people, and hires space in the Institute to operate an Open House with displays every Saturday throughout the year, and a fortnightly Cinema on Sunday evenings.  It also works with the locally-run charitable bodies operating Penicuik’s Leisure Centre at Ladywood and the Penicuik Community Arts Centre in West Street.