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The History of Stuffed Animals

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Hey, Cuddly Campers!

Who doesn’t like to cozy up with a stuffed companion when it’s time to go to sleep? Having that warm company who’s always waiting for you at bedtime is a joy known to boys and girls alike. Even in adulthood, I still have Bobo the monkey—my favorite stuffed animal from when I turned one year old.

I wrote a Blog post a number of years back about the story behind the Teddy Bear and why it’s named after Theodore Roosevelt. You can check out the post by clicking right here. But that only tells the story of the Teddy Bear, not the history of stuffed animals altogether. 

Stuffed animal history surprisingly goes way back like so many things to the Egyptian culture, hundreds of years back. No stuffed animal remains have ever been discovered, however, they show up in paintings around Egyptian tombs. They were likely crude and not the extremely soft stuffed animals we have today. They are believed to have been comforting gifts to remember a pet that has passed on.

A more modern take on these sweet companions arrived in the USA in the 1830s when taxidermy—the art of stuffing real animals—inspired the idea for a cuddly toy. But even these were a far cry from what we have now. They were all homemade with cloth and straw and filled with a number of different types of stuffing.

It was 50 years down the road before the first stuffed animals started being manufactured on a commercial level in Germany. And it was only 20 more years after that when President Roosevelt was honored with the kid’s favorite cuddly companion, the Teddy Bear.

Be sure to give any stuffed animals you may own a big squeeze today and be thankful for their friendship! It’s important to appreciate our plushy pals. Check out these cute guys from our Melissa & Doug selection right here! And, as always, thanks for reading. 


- John


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