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 Zoo) would 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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