Loading Animation

Teddy Bears as a "horrible monstrosity" - a documentary on childhood and playthings

"Cute and cuddly, or a “horrible monstrosity” that’ll destroy humanity? In 1907, many people feared the worst—that this new toy would ruin young girls’ developing maternal instincts, and lead us to a terrible fate. This is the story of how the teddy bear changed us all… and how we then changed the bear."

This week on "Pessimists Archive," listen to a documentary on the moral panic and historical development of the Teddy Bear.  Hosted by Jason Feifer and featuring Karen Sanchez-Eppler, Jennifer Helgren, Peter Stearns and others.   


Jason Feifer, Chris Kornelis, and Gia Mora create the "Pessimists Archive" which asks "Why do People Keep Resisting New Things?"  In each episode, we travel back in time to the moment that a new technology or innovation was introduced—something that today we think of as totally commonplace!—and we explore why everyone was freaking out about it. Our hope is this: By seeing how repetitive and often silly yesterday’s fears were, we can begin to defang today’s fears as well.