Morris Mitchom and A. Cohn founded the Ideal Novelty and Toy Company in 1902. The original purpose of founding this company was to produce Mitchom’s teddy bears. His wife had made a pair for a window display in Brooklyn, New York after the cartoon appeared in the newspaper about President Theodore Roosevalt’s hunting trip for bear.
Mitchom sent a sample of his wife’s bear to the President and asked if he could have permission to use the president’s name with the bear. The President responded in a handwritten note: ”I doubt if my name will mean much in the bear business, but you may use it if you wish”. This, of course, is how our Teddy bears got there name, according to Ideal.
Some of the most lucritive years for Ideal were in the 1930’s with the production of Shirley Temple, Judy Garland, and Deanna Durbin dolls. The company was so successful that they began manufacturing dolls for other doll makers such as American Character, Arranbee, Eugenia, and Mary Hoyer.
Ideal was the first maker to market the hard plastic dolls in 1936.