Who Invented Paddington Bear


Once upon a time there was a lonely Teddy bear who was rather quite curious. He was a polite bear and always addressed people by their titles. He very rarely, if ever, used anyone’s first names. This was a bear that also made people uncomfortable at times because he would get upset when people would stare at him. It is unusual, after all, to see a talking and walking bear. Named Paddington, this bear has featured in over 70 titles around the world, can be found in over 30 languages, and in every one he is wearing a duffel coat and has a craving for marmalade.

We all have Michael Bond to thank for creating Paddington, who first appeared in a story in October 1958.

How Was the Idea of Paddington Bear Conceived?

If you ask Michael Bond about Paddington, he’ll tell you that he was inspired to write the story based on his experiences one night in London. He was walking by a toy store on Christmas Eve in 1956 and noticed that there was just one bear there, all alone and sitting on a shelf. Bond purchased the bear for his wife and just 10 days later, the finished first story of the adventures of Paddington had been completed.

Since his initial conception, Paddington has had a good run around the world. He became his own stuffed bear in 1972 thanks to the efforts of a boutique company named Gabrielle Designs. The owners wanted a prototype to give their children for Christmas, so to complete the look they gave Paddington the same Wellingtons that he got for Christmas in a story about 10 years before. In 2014, a new Paddington story is even going to hit movie theaters.

The Story of Paddington Isn’t Always a Pleasant One

Although Paddington was inspired to be a wonderful children’s character and has accomplished this goal in many stories, this bear has seen his own fair share of controversy over the years as well. You might know Jeremy Clarkson, who was one of the first two children to receive a stuffed Paddington. He appears on Top Gear, but what many people don’t realize is that his first job was selling stuffed Paddingtons from his parent’s business.

The reason behind the creation of the stuffed Paddington? Clarkson’s parents had enrolled him into a private school and had no money to pay for it. Once they saw how popular the bears had become that they’d given their children, they began to rapidly produce them and It’s not the stuffed bear that has caused problems, but the fact that for a couple years, Paddington actually sold Marmite. This brought a lot of criticism to Bond as people said he’s sold out his character.

No matter what, however, there’s no getting around the fact that everyone loves this little bear who mysteriously appeared one day from the deepest, darkest parts of Peru. If you get the chance today, pick up a story about Paddington and give it a good read. You’ll be glad you did.

Paddington Bear History