Monday, 21 January 2013

Steiff Bear

I became fascinated with Steiff Bears after watching the Antiques Roadshow.
 I knew in my heart that while we are stationed here in Germany...........I best get me a Steiff Bear and..........visit the Steiff Museum in Geingen - which is like a three hour drive from Baumholder.

So off we went yesterday on the road trip.
Me.....Hubby......Sons.......and our ward.

Before our trip, I did do research on the humble beginnings of Steiff and learned about Margaret Steiff who was born in Geingen, Germany in 1847.  She contracted polio when she was a child and spent the rest of her life in a wheelchair.  Despite her handicap she was determined to be self sufficient and learned how to sew.  Soon she was sewing petticoats and coats out of felt for children.

Then she found a pattern for an elephant in a magazine and began making those as pin cushions.  Children began playing with the felt little critter and she designed and made more of the elephants and other felt toys for children.

In 1902 Margaret's nephew Richard designed a jointed bear and while these bears were on display at a Toy fair in 1903 an American purchased 3,000 of the bears for the New York Toy Co.

In 1904 12,000 of the bears were sold at the World Exhibition at St. Louis.

Steiff bears and all Steiff stuffed toys are genuine when there is the
KNOF IM OHR
or "The button in the ear" - the left ear.


And so - I just had to visit the place where Margaret was born and as we neared the town




all occupants in the car were stirring with excitement especially when we saw this huge bear on the round about.


Even the statue had the
 ‘Knopf im Ohr’ (button in ear)

We found parking



and in to the museum we went.

This is me (wink wink) with Margaret.

The tour began in Margaret's sewing room.
She operated a hand sewing machine and it is said that she was the first seamstress in Geingen to ever own a sewing machine.

We were then escorted to the workshop where the story of Richard was told.  He studied the anatomy of the bear and designed the jointed bear.
When the story came to the purchase of the 3,000 bears.............the floor began to float up and up and up because Richard also designed kites and for the sake of this part of the story
we were kites flying up to the sky.  This was brilliant story telling.

Up, up, up we went


Soon we met Frida and Knopf and they took us on a journey to find the 3,000 bears.



We traveled through the Teddytanic
And saw all kinds of underwater world Steiff marine life. Fishes, turtles, sharks.



And then Freida and Knopf took us to the North Pole where we searched and searched for the 3,000 bears.





Our final destination was this room where we did find the 3,000 bears and Steiff bears that represented all corners of the world.





Can you tell from the expressions on our faces that we were really into the story?




This Museum was truly interactive for children, young adults, teens........and me (the adult).





This is my Steiff bear.  It was given to me by hubby for Christmas.  His gift to me extended to this wonderful visit to the Steiff museum.






Hugs,
Kay

Linking Up With
Mod Vintage Life
The Chicken Chick
One More Time Events

5 comments:

  1. Thank you for sharing with the Clever Chicks Blog Hop this week; I hope you’ll join us again!



    Cheers,
    Kathy Shea Mormino

    The Chicken Chick

    http://www.The-Chicken-Chick.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Kathy - it was my pleasure. I am enjoying the visits to the other links at your party.

      Delete
  2. Tfs!! what a fun tour. Ur hubby sure got ya a big Teddy!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Denise. Thank you for your comment. Hubby initially gave me a non-growling Steiff and I said "sniff sniff it doesn't growl." So he goes back to the Steiff boutique and came back with this huge one that did growl. I love love love it.
      Teddy Bear Hugs to you.
      Kay

      Delete
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