Chiltern Bears – Teddy Bear, History, Information

Chiltern or Chiltern Toy Works started in Chesham in Buckinghamshire in 1908 by Joseph Eisenmann with the first bear produced in 1915, Master Teddy. When Joseph died in 1919, the factory was left to Leon Rees, his son in law. Leon moved to Waterside in Chesham a year later and in partnership with Harry Stone formed H.G. Stone and Co. Ltd. They opened a second factory in Tottenham, London in 1921.

One of the most popular Chiltern teddy bears was the Hugmee range of bears introduced in 1923. A year later in 1924, Chiltern Toys was registered. Manufacturing moved to Amersham, Bucks and continued producing bears until the factory’s closing in 1960. A second toy factory was opened at Pontypool in Wales in 1947. Chad Valley took over Chiltern in 1967 and for awhile bears produced had a Chad Valley/Chiltern label.

One of the earliest teddy bears from Chiltern was the Baby Bruin, the Bear Club, of 1922.  In 1937, the Wagmee series was introduced.