Margarete Steiff was born in Germany in the town of Giengen near Ulm on 24th July 1847. But at a very young age was taken ill & diagnosed with polio. In her late 20s she formed a company called- The felt toy company The first Steiff animal was created as an elephant made of felt, that was intended for use as a pincushion. The elephant was the first soft-filled fabric toy animal and soon became very popular with children. Over 5000 thousand of these elephants where sold & more animals were added to the product line.
In 1893 the first trade fair: Steiff felt toys were presented for the first time at the Spring Fair in Leipzig. The company was entered in the commercial register as a toy factory. It was a couple of years after that first foreign business contacts were established with Harrods of London.
A couple of years latter Margarete’s nephew (Richard) was to join the company. Richard had attended the Stuttgart school of art & had always an interest with animals.
With his art skills, he had produced many drawing on visits the Nill zoo & it was from these drawings the basis of the Steiff bear was created.
The American President Theodore Roosevelt - nicknamed "Teddy" - played an important part in the success of the Steiff bear and in the choice of name. "Teddy". Roosevelt had a passion for bear hunting and had been duplicated in cartoons by the caricature artist (Clifford Berryman). It was from here the teddy bear name was associated.
The trade mark for Steiff is the button clipped to the ear with the Steiff signature imbedded into the metal. But the first one was actually an elephant embossed into the button. This button has changed many times over the years & is a good way to date some of Steiff products. Steiff now produce many products from toys to clothing.
Purchasing Steiff bears.
There are hundreds of badge & patch clubs with also may manufactures.
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Steiff bears - Collectors - Collecting - Collectables - Memorabilia - bear collecting
Steiff bears Collectors, articals, clubs & information.
Collectable Steiff bears
Margarete Steiff GmbH.
Postfach 15 60.
D-89530 Giengen / Brenz
Telefon +49 (0) 7322 131-555
Telefax +49 (0) 7322 131-476
Web site www.steiff.de
Margarete Steiff UK.
Cranleigh. Surrey GU6 8RE
Telephone: +44 (0) 1483/266643
web site www.steiff.com
Steiff North America, Inc.
425 Paramount Drive
Raynham, MA 02767