Steiff are the world’s most prized collectable bears. They began the teddy-bear craze that came from the Leipzig toy fair to sweep North America. This one from our toy collection is from the first arrival of these famous German teddy bears in British Columbia.
It belonged to Eleanor Stewart, who recalled being five or six years old when her aunt gave her the bear in 1908. She was bed-bound for 15 months, from 1906-1908, and spent summer days in a bed on the front porch of the family home on Seymour street in Kamloops (see photograph 2003.25.2).
Verification of the button in the bear’s ear against information on the Steiff site shows that it was made between 1908 and 1911. Eleanor’s aunt brought it from Vancouver in 1908, the first year we know the button was used, and took it to the invalid child as a gift.
Just after her 100th birthday, Eleanor Stewart came to the museum with her niece to find a home for her “Theodore”, whom she had treasured for so many years.