||Margarete Steiff was born in
1847 and died in 1909
Development of the first soft-filled fabric toy
1892 The first Steiff catalogue
1893 Steiff attended its
first trade fair
1902 The Teddy bear
was born - Steiff invented the first plush
1904 The "Button in Ear" was
used to protect all products
Steiff sold 974,000 Teddy bears
The first Steiff animal: a
Front cover of the 1892
|1877 Margarete Steiff sold
garments and household articles that she
had made herself in a newly formed
ready-to-wear felt clothing
|1880 The first Steiff animal
was created - 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, who
enjoyed playing with it.
|1886 5,170 elephants were
sold and other animals were added to the
product range. The family business
expanded. Fritz Steiff, Margarete's
brother, assumed responsibility for
|1892 The first Steiff
catalogue was published to give the
customers an overview of the products
that had been added to the range.
|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.
|1895 The first foreign
business contacts were established with
Harrods in London.
|1897 Richard Steiff,
Margarete's nephew, joined the company
Richard Steiff attended art
school in Stuttgart. He had always been
fascinated by the relationships between humans
and animals. This gave rise to the countless
drawings of animals that he produced during
visits to the "Nill" zoo. These drawings were as
the basis for new Steiff articles.
A replica of 1904 Bear 35PB with
Richard Steiff's original sketchbook.
|1902 Richard Steiff
created the most famous of these in1902 - the
first Steiff bear that was given the designation
"55PB" (55 cm tall, sitting, P = plush, B =
jointed ["beweglich" in German]). Mohair plush,
a new material, was used for the first time to
make this unusual new product.
Clifford Berryman's famous
caricature showing Theodore Roosevelt with the
young bear in the backgound, was published in
the Washington Post in November 1902.
|1903 The legendary
jointed Steiff "55PB" bear was presented and
sold for the first time at the Leipzig Spring
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
This heralded the start of the Teddy
boom and 3,000 Steiff bears were sold worldwide
during the same year.
The work of the people employed by Steiff -
still numbering around 1,000 as in the past -
continues to be primarily oriented to the
handicraft tradition, with the number of
operations required to produce each Steiff
animal averaging at more than 30.
A total of
more than 1.5 million Steiff animals were
produced over the last year. The main production
facility is located in the German town of
||Over the years, Margarete
Steiff GmbH has become the leading manufacturer
of high-quality toys and collectors' items.
Today's Margarete Steiff GmbH is a company with
an annual turnover of around 116 million DM,
with national sales accounting for just under
two thirds of this and international sales
accounting for the remaining third.