HISTORY OF STEIFF
German toymaker Margarete Steiff (July 24, 1847 - May 9, 1909), born in Giengen, started creating toy stuffed animals in 1880 in the town of Giengen an der Brenz, Germany.
Margarete was a seamstress and confined to a wheelchair, due to polio she contracted as a baby, she started making stuffed animals as a hobby. These toys began as elephants, which were originally a design Steiff found in a magazine and originally sold as pincushions to her friends. However, children began playing with them, and in the years following she went on to design many other successful animal-themed toys for children, such as dogs, cats and pigs. She designed and made most of the prototypes herself.
In 1902, her nephew Richard Steiff designed their renowned teddy bear, which many people believe was one of the first.
American President Theodore Roosevelt - nicknamed "Teddy" - played an important role in the success of the Steiff bear and in the choice of name. "Teddy" was a passionate bear hunter.
Clifford Berryman, a well-known American artist, began adding a decorative little bear to all of his Roosevelt caricatures. The popularity of "Teddy" Roosevelt and Berryman's drawings contributed towards making "Teddy's bear" and later the "Teddy bear" world famous.
This heralded the start of the Teddy boom.
From November 1904 onwards, every Steiff animal leaving the factory had a "Button in Ear". The original button was made of metal, embossed with an elephant. Franz Steiff, another of Margarete's nephews, came up with this idea to distinguish Steiff articles from imitation products. The elephant was later replaced by the name "Steiff". This ingenious idea marked the launch of a world-famous trademark: Steiff "Button in Ear".
As the years pass, the company Margarete Steiff GmbH made its way into the annals of toy history. Steiff products set new accents in the toy market over and over again.
ALSO- SEE " HOW TO IDENTIFY YOUR STEIFF".