In 1880, a German seamstress named Margarete Steiff, whose bout with polio had limited her to sewing with only one hand, founded the company that bears her name and is today the leader in stuffed, plush bears. Steiff’s nephew Richard created the first soft bear for his aunt, whose factory produced all sorts of toys at the time. Steiff's idea for the bear came from his drawings of the animals at the Stuttgart Zoo.
An American wholesaler named George Borgfeldt saw the bear at the Leipzig Toy Fair in 1903 and promptly ordered 3,000 of them. By World War I, Steiff had sold millions of these toys in the United States, Germany, and England. Steiff bears made after 1905 have a trademark Steiff button sewn into their ears.
Interviews & Articles
What we have here are two Steiff Niki Rabbits. Easter season or not, many Steiff enthusiasts consider this “hare-raising” design t… [more]
What we have here is Steiff’s version of the month of March: “In like a lion, out like a lamb.” Both of these examples have a uniq… [more]
What we have here is a complete set of Steiff’s 1960s-era Basset hounds. Steiff produced these handsome hounds from 1961 through 1… [more]
Steiff pandas are “rare bears” indeed. Here are five examples that cover a manufacturing timeframe of almost three decades. The ph… [more]
What we have here is a Steiff tiger pajama bag. He is about 40 cm long and about 20 cm tall. He is in Steiff’s “lying” position, m… [more]
What we have here is a post-World War ll Steiff “Record Peter.” “Record” refers to a Steiff item on wheels while “Peter” is the na… [more]
What we have here are Steiff’s delightful "Pupphase Bub and Maedel," or rabbit doll boy-and-girl pair. This particular set is 25 c… [more]