Founded in 1880, German plush-toy maker Steiff has been synonymous with high-quality stuffed animals for well over a century. Its bear design from 1902 is the original Teddy Bear.
Seamstress Margarete Steiff’s plush-toy company was established in 1880 in Giengen an der Brenz in southern Germany. The original design – a stuffed elephant – was based on a pattern from a fashion magazine and was intended to be used as a pin cushion. But the little stuffed animals became popular as children’s toys, and when Steiff’s first illustrated catalogue was released in 1892, it showed a large range of plush animal toys, from monkeys and camels to dogs and cats. In 1902, Margarete Steiff’s nephew designed the world’s first toy bear with moveable arms and legs which, a few years later, became an unprecedented success in the U.S. under the name of Teddy Bear, named after the American president Theodore Roosevelt. Steiff’s stuffed toys have been associated with premium quality for well over a century and are recognised by the button-in-ear brand sign on all animals.