In 1903 one of the first jointed 'teddy bears' made its debut in NYC at a small toy store.
However, on the other side of the pond in Germany, the Steiff Toy company was making its own jointed teddy bear.
Margarete Steiff was born in Germany in the year 1847 to a loving family. At eighteen months of age she contracted polio which crippled her legs and right hand. This was a devastating blow in an era where a woman's main purpose was to marry, run a household, and raise children.
Despite her handicapping condition, Margarete thrived.
She refused to accept her limitations and insisted on attending school with her friends and siblings. They would place her in a wagon, transport her to the school house, and a woman who lived next to the schoolhouse would help her into the school room.
Margarete learned to lead friends and siblings in play so that she too could participate.
She took up an interest in sewing, requesting sewing lessons which her parents discouraged due to her handicapping conditions. Marguerite persevered and took the sewing class and became a talented seamstress. With her newly developed talents she went on to start her own business creating flannel petticoats and other garments.
One Christmas she made a few stuffed elephant pin cushions as gifts for family and friends. Oddly, children took a fancy to the small plush items which inspired Marguerite.
Her business of stitching flannel petticoats morphed into making stuffed toys for children.
The Steiff Toy company was founded and run by Margarete Steiff in the latter part of the 19th century. Her nephews lent business support further advancing the company.
Margarete's company motto was
"Only the best is good enough for children."
In 1903 the Steiff teddy bear was released and quickly became a worldwide sensation that continues to this day.
Such great success from a woman in a wheelchair who refused to say 'I can't' but instead pushed forward, worked hard, and established one of the most famous toy companies in the world for more than one hundred years.
"But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, with men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible."
Matthew 19:26 (KJV)
Blessings from The Parlor!