As you will probably know, in 1902 president Theodore ('Teddy') Roosevelt made a journey to Missisippi, where he was invited to a bear hunt. During this he suddenly faced a grown-up bear which he flatly refused to shoot. Due to the major media event the incident ended in the frontpage of the papers and soon a New Yorker implemented a small production of 'teddy-bears'.
The same year - in 1902 - Steiff produced their first bear(PB 55) which arrived to USA in 1903 allthough it failed to sell- Nevertheless, during a toy trade show in Germany the same year an american buyer discovered the bear and immediately ordered 3.000 pcs. Four years later Steiff manufactured close to a million bears!
Now of course plenty of other manufacturers and single persons were animated to start or change the production of toys. Of American manufacturers from this period were e.g. Aetna; BMC (Bruin); Strauss og Ideal, of which most only had a short life of service.
In Germany manufacturers such as Bing og Hermann started a produktion of bears and in United Kingdom Farnell and William Terry led the way later followed by Chad Valley, Chiltern og Deans.
By far the most bears were made of 'fabric spun of the wool from Angora-goats, origins of Afghanistan.' Mohair, which was produced in England and World War 1 thus meant a considerably reduction of most manufacturers production, partly because of lack of materials partly because the production was changed to more essential necessities during the war.
During this period of time the materials that were used primarily was excelsior as filling; Mohair was the most used fabric; the eyes were shoe-button-eyes and the pads/paws were felt, but as mentioned most materials were replaced during the war.
After the war blown glass eyes replaced the shoe-button-eyes and velveteen was used for the pads/paws.