Teddy Bears and the Phonograph


This gallery features Teddy Bears used in the promotion of the phonograph. The history of the 'Teddy Bear" (named in honor of Teddy Roosevelt) begins with Roosevelt's encounter with a black bear that he refused to shoot while on a 1902 hunting expedition. Roosevelt's use of the phrase "De-lighted" also became part of phonograph advertising.

The following are a few examples of connections between the Phonograph and Teddy Bears.


Cosmopolitan, 1908

Postcard, circa 1907


"One of the happiest pictorial postals takes advantage of the prevailing popularity of the Teddy bear."

The Talking Machine World, September 15, 1907



The Edison Phonograph Monthly, August 1907

LISTEN Will You Be My Teddy Bear? Performed by Ada Jones and Billy Murray (1907)

Edison Gold Moulded Record No: 9659 - Courtesy UCSB Cylinder Audio Archive



The Edison Phonograph Monthly, January 1908

LISTEN The Teddy Bears' Picnic. Performed by Edison Symphony Orchestra (1908)

Edison Gold Moulded Record No. 9777


Advertisement for sheet music of "The Teddy Bears Picnic" as published in the Star Tribune newspaper in April 1908


The Teddy Bears Picnic, Sheet Music 1907



The Grateful Dead "Dancing Bears" or "Marching Bears" circa 1970's


Little girl with her bear listening to a record, The Talking Machine World, May 15, 1908


Picture card by Maud Trube with record in The Three Bears, Little Tots Nursery Tunes, No. 4 The Story Hour Book, ca. 1923


LISTEN Bing Crosby, The Teddy Bear's Picnic, Decca Records, 1950


"me and my Teddy Bear," Peter Pan Vinyl, 7" 45 RPM EP, circa 1965


Lionel - Spear Talking Teddy Record Player with box and records




1961 Radio TV Phonograph Exhibition Bear Stamp - Berlin, Germany


History of the Grateful Dead, Volume 1 (Bearís Choice) LP back cover, designed by Bob Thomas. Often called Dancing Bears, according to Owsley "Bear" Stanley's personal website, the bears' stride "are quite obviously those of a high-stepping march." Album was released July 13, 1973 (Courtesy of Warner Bros.)



1983 Care Bears Record Player by American Greeting Corp in 1983, 2 speeds (33 rpm / 45 rpm)


Greeting Card, ©Hallmark 1987

Starbucks Gift Card, 2019



Talking Bears using Cassette Tapes


1985 Animatronic Cassette Playing Teddy Ruxpin


Cassette Playing Gabby Bear, 1985 (post Teddy Ruxpin and costing slightly less than TR)


Cassette playing Mr. Bear, 1986



T. T. Talking Bear, Pioneer Toys circa 1992