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Creator of Teddy Bear –  MARGARETE STEIFF

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  • Creator of Teddy Bear -  MARGARETE STEIFF

Creator of Teddy Bear –  MARGARETE STEIFF




On July 24, 1847, Margarete Steiff was born in Giengen a der Brenz, in what is now the state of Baden-Württemberg, 177 years ago today. She had polio when she was one and a half years old, and she was forced to use a wheelchair after that.

As a joyful and energetic young girl, Margarete was also extremely aspirational and diligent. Margarete Steiff attended a sewing class after school. She was a skilled seamstress at the age of 17. A few years later, she started her own business making clothes and felt goods.

An elephant was the beginning of it all.

A fabric needle cushion fashioned like a tiny elephant launched the Steiff animal empire in 1880.

The local kids adored the “little elephant,” and after just six years Margarete Steiff was selling 5,000 of the plush animals annually, with more arriving all the time. Five more years later, the parents’ home workshop had finally grown too tiny, so her younger brother Fritz constructed his sister’s store, the “felt toy factory”. Margarete Steiff had blossomed into a prosperous merchant.

The stuffed animal

Margarete held great significance in her family.
This was mostly her brother’s boys, along with her brother Fritz and her two elder sisters. Five of them were eventually hired by her factory. Richard, her favourite nephew, ended up being her most valuable employee. He also came up with the notion to create a fabric bear in 1902.

Sales of the bear were incredibly successful, particularly in the USA. It also acquired the term “teddy bear,” which is still in use today, there. Then, Franz, another nephew, came up with the concept of attaching a metal button featuring a little Steiff flag to each Steiff animal’s ear. This is still how Steiff animals are identified now.

An international business

The teddy bear’s popularity allowed Margarete Steiff’s fabric workshop to expand internationally. Nearly a million teddy bears and numerous other toys were created by more than 2,000 workers in the year she celebrated her 60th birthday. Margarete Steiff passed away on May 9, 1909, at the age of 61, not long after.


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Creator of Teddy Bear -  MARGARETE STEIFF


  • +Creator of Teddy Bear -  MARGARETE STEIFF


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