After literally 20 years of searching, I have finally gotten one of the antique teddy bears that has long topped my wish list: the Laughing Roosevelt Bear made by Columbia of New York in 1907. This very rare novelty bear features a unique split wooden mouth with milk glass teeth. When his stomach is squeezed, his mouth opens, baring his teeth in a big grin.
President Roosevelt was known for his wide, toothy grin, which he flashed defiantly at any obstacle or opposition. The original ad for the Laughing Roosevelt Bear reads: "Roosevelt Laughs and Shows His Teeth at his critics. So does the COLUMBIA made Teddy Bear...The Laughing Teddy Bear Laughs and Shows his Teeth at tight money, hard times and pessimists. He is the most Brilliant Stuffed Animal Success of Modern Times."
I've accessorized my Laughing Roosevelt Bear with a vintage patriotic ribbon, badge, straw hat, and a pipe (an antique Cracker Jack prize), which give him the look of a conventioneering politician. He's reading a book of jokes and riddles (another antique Cracker Jack prize), looking for a good one to use in his speech to the delegates.