The Gardiner Library is hosting a display of Steiff stuffed animals in the exhibit case in the library lobby. The toys are from the cherished collection of a Newburgh family. They were acquired in the baby boomer years (1946-1964) for birthdays, at Christmas, and on trips to FAO Schwarz in New York City. Throughout years of play, these toys formed a fantasy community that even had its own hand-made Steifftown News. The children are now grown and one of the family members lives in Gardiner and thought it would be nice to share the collection with the public.
The world of Steiff was started in 1880, when a young woman in Germany named Margarete Steiff stitched a small elephant from felt. The company is perhaps best known for its bear. Steiff reinvented stuffed toys by making a bear out of soft fur (rather than the traditional cloth) in 1902. It has created more than 16,000 different designs for animals. The “button in ear” metal tag identifies an authentic Steiff toy.
The toys will be on display through the end of November in the library lobby, 133 Farmer’s Turnpike in Gardiner. For library hours, directions, or further information call 255-1255 or visit gardinerlibrary.org.