In 1938 the Gaeltacht Services Division of the Department of Lands a new industry manufacturing toys and small utility goods was established.
All the administration and distribution of products was carried out by members of the Civil Service and the industries were State subsidised as the emphasis was on job creation and not profit. During the second world war exports of toys and teddies rose considerably and the Elly Bay factory worked overtime to meet the demand for toys (and teddybears) in Britain and elsewhere; during this time, mohair was not available so other fabrics were used. Mohair remained in short supply until the late forties.
Tara Toys or Erris Toys as they were known prior to 1953, produced their teddy bears at Elly Bay and they were initially made from mohair and hand stuffed with cotton flack and wood wool; the bears were jointed with cotter pin joints The "Made in Eire" label was used up until 1949 from 1950 the label indicated "Made in the Republic of Ireland". Pedigree also began 1937/38. They also manufactured bears in Australia. Pedigree started life in London as Lines Bros only registering the Pedigree name in 1931. They moved most of their production to Belfast in 1946.
Pedigree identifying features:-
- Label usually at the back near the neck.
- Short limbs
- no stitching
- pointed paws with non defined feet
- large round head with smallish ears
Erris/Tara identifying features:-
- label sewn into foot seam
- distinctive nose stitching
- laughing bear mouth on some bears
- musical bears common
- small semi circular ears high on head
For bears for sale please use the Search box "Irish for sale"