Monday, August 16, 2010

Antique Child & Electric Eye Teddy Bear Photo

Some of my favorite non-toy collectibles are antique photos of children with playthings. They're wonderful items on their own, with the glimpse they give of history and the charm of the children, but they're even more wonderful when you discover you own a toy seen in a photo.

One of my favorite antique teddy bears is the Electric Eye Bear, a novelty item made around 1908. These large bears (21 - 24 inches tall) featured electric bulb eyes that actually lit up courtesy of a battery pack concealed in their portly tummies. They were constructed in an unusual manner, with non-jointed legs in a permanently standing position. Many were also accessorized for some reason as circus bears with collars, bells, and nose rings. I'm very fortunate to have found two such bears, one of which still retains his glass bulb eyes.

 I've seen many, many pictures of children with teddy bears (they were a very popular studio prop from the 1900s onward) but I had never seen one of these rare bears in an antique photo until I stumbled across this:

 The little girl is just adorable, and she caught my attention so much that at first I didn't even notice the bear. But when I did, I was stunned to find it's an electric eye: the profile is unmistakable. What a lucky little girl she was (and so am I!)


  1. I always love vintage photos of children with dolls and bears and this one is a fabulous find Tracy!
    I only have a couple of photos with children and bears and I treasure them!

  2. Lovely bears. Visit and you'll see some of their friends.



  3. I found one of these for sale at

    1. I have one and tried opening that cite on ebay but didn't get it. I would like to see how much this bear is worth. Could you tell me where you found it? I'll try again. Thanks

    2. There is one just listed on eBay now. Search for "Electric Eye Stuffed Bear". Goid luck!

  4. There is one just listed on eBsy now. Search for "Electric Eye Stuffed Bear".
    Good luck!

  5. I have a antique teddy bear inherited from my grandmother brought back from Europe during WW1. It is a electric eye teddy bear with switch in eye and nose ring with chain attached to it.