The Original Stuffed Animals That Inspired Winnie the Pooh

winnie stuffies

In 1921, Christo­pher Robin Milne received a stuffed bear for his first birth­day. But it wasn’t any old stuffed bear. Bought at Har­rods in Lon­don, this bear (named “Win­nie” after a black bear that resided at the Lon­don Zoowould inspire his father, A.A. Milne, to write the Win­nie the Pooh sto­ries in 1926–stories that have cap­tured chil­dren’s imag­i­na­tions ever since.

In the pic­ture above, you can see the orig­i­nal Win­nie the Pooh bear, joined by his friends Tig­ger, Kan­ga, Eey­ore, and Piglet. They all now live at The New York Pub­lic Library, where kids and adults can see them on dis­play. It should be not­ed that Roo isn’t in the pic­ture because he was lost a long time ago. Mean­while you won’t find Owl or Rab­bit, because they weren’t orig­i­nal­ly based on stuffed ani­mals.

You can find more pho­tos of the stuffed ani­mals over at the NYPL web­site, and, if you vis­it this post in our archive, you’ll hear A.A. Milne read­ing from Win­nie the Pooh in a 1929 record­ing. Enjoy.

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Note: Do you want to down­load Win­nie the Pooh as a free audio book? If you start a 30 day free tri­al with, you can down­load two free audio books of your choice. Get more details on the offer here.

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Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.