Just about every one out there can think of a favorite stuffed animal that they have or that they had at one time. These soft toys are often very special to use and can help us to get through the rough times that come our way in life. Since we see stuffed animals all over the place, it is easy to assume they have always been available. Learning about the history of stuffed animals though can help you to appreciate them more.
It is believed they actually originated centuries ago in the Egyptian culture. While the remains of the actual stuffed animals haven’t been found, paintings of them around the tombs of the Egyptians have given researchers the impression that they did have them. In other cultures it is believed they were used for ceremonies to take the place of real animals.
The first stuffed animals were introduced in the 1830’s. There weren’t well made like today though in factories with various types of stuffing. Instead these were homemade. The materials used were cloth and straw. As time progressed new materials were used. How many of you remember sock puppets as toys? Most children today don’t but older generations loved to play with them.
It may surprise you to learn that stuffed animals actually came from the idea of stuffing real animals that had been killed. That is still a process that hunters engage in today as a way to preserve the beauty of those animals. It is also a way to display them as a trophy. However, that process can be both time consuming and expensive.
The idea of stuffed animals as we know them today took place in 1880. These were the first commercialized types. They were manufactured in Germany. There are now brand names out there made all over the world.
As materials including cotton and various types of synthetic fibers were introduced, they became the main types of items used to stuff these delightful toys. They could be produced quickly and very inexpensively. The idea of using beans to stuff them also added appeal down the road in this market.
In the United States the attention for stuffed animals occurred when President Roosevelt was shown with a picture of a cuddly icon. A manufacturer approached the President to ask to use his name with the production of them in 1902. Today there are thousands of different types including the teddy bear out there for you to choose from.
Even though kids today seem to be more interested in electronic gadgets than using their imaginations to play, stuffed animals are still hot selling items. You will find many classics out there including Raggedy Anne and Andy, teddy bears, and Disney characters. Some of the older stuffed animals are considered collector’s items and are worth a great deal of money if they are in good shape. You may have some of them around your home or packed away that are more valuable than you ever imagined.