American Aetna, Elmer, BMC, Hecla, Ideal, Harman and Strauss


Aetna Toy Animal Co. was founded in 1901 in New York. From 1906 until 1915 they sold the Aetna-bear, which originally was called the Keystone-bear.

Aetna trademark: The Aetna Toy Animal Company marked their Teddy Bears with a black, printed, oval line around their name, which was placed on the right feet.

Teddy Bears from Aetna are very rare, especially outside the USA, because the company only made bears for a couple of years.

Wholesale dealer George Borgfeldt & Co. was the exclusive sales agent. Later the company was called Aetna Doll and Toy Co. In 1919 E.I. Horsmann Co. from New York took over the company.


Bruin Manufacturing Co - 1907 - 1909

This early American teddy bear company had a short manufacturing life but during this time they made quality toy bears. 

A rare example of one of their bears is the 1907 "Blissful" bear which carries the companies label stitched to the bottom of the foot. 

This bear has many of the traditional characteristics of the American teddy bears of the time such as: 

  • Triangle shaped muzzle which comes directly out from the forehead

  • A humped back

  • Black wooden boot button eyes

  • Embroidered claws on paws


This company began making bears to be Americas answer to the successful German Steiff bear. The company made their bears to be almost identical to Steiff bears, they even imported the mohair from Germany and used German labour! Yet, the company did not advertise much and was out of business in two years. These adorable and handsome bears are very hard to find!