Kershaw was a well-known engraver in St. Louis and proprietor of the Western Card and Seal Engraving Co. Kershaw engraved the designs on a small copper plate, with an area sufficient to contain six subjects in three rows of two. Not having any means of mechanical reproduction he had to cut each design separately by handwork.
The majority of the St. Louis Bears appear to have been used by two firms: Crow & McCreery, wholesale dry goods merchants; and William Nisbet & Co., bankers. These two firms were in the habit of sending to Louisville big bulky letters with enclosed drafts and other letters to be forwarded. Consequently, in the summer of 1895 there was a great find of Bears stamps in Louisville KY.