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.

If you would like to sign up for Open Culture’s free email newsletter, please find it here.

If you would like to support the mission of Open Culture, consider making a donation to our site. It’s hard to rely 100% on ads, and your contributions will help us continue providing the best free cultural and educational materials to learners everywhere. You can contribute through PayPal, Patreon, Venmo (@openculture) and Crypto. Thanks!

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.

by | Permalink | Comments (10) |

Support Open Culture

We’re hoping to rely on our loyal readers rather than erratic ads. To support Open Culture’s educational mission, please consider making a donation. We accept PayPal, Venmo (@openculture), Patreon and Crypto! Please find all options here. We thank you!

Comments (10)
You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

Leave a Reply

Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.