On October 14th, 1926, A.A. Milne’s first book chronicling the adventures of Christopher Robin and his stuffed friends, Piglet, Eeyore, Kanga, Roo and Tigger debuted. Whether it was through the original books or the later reimaginings by Disney, many of us grew up with stories of the calm, honey-loving bear.
Below are some facts about the Hundred Acre Wood and it’s inhabitants:
- Though A.A. Milne was British, Winnie-the-Pooh was not. The real bear who inspired him, Winnie, was a Canadian female black bear.
- Christopher received a teddy bear on his first birthday from his father, A.A. Milne. It was an 18-inch bear from Harrod’s department store in London, and it could growl. The bear was originally called Edward but was renamed Winnie after the adorable black bear at the London Zoo.
- The Hundred Acre Wood characters Owl and Rabbit were the only two that weren’t inspired by Christopher Robin’s toys. Instead, their characters came from real animals on Cotchford Farm, the Milnes’ property in Sussex.
- Over 50 million copies of the Winnie-the-Pooh books have been sold worldwide.
- Gopher was never in the original Winnie-the-Pooh books. He was later added when Disney took over the brand, as a more relatable American creature.
- You can send birthday cards to Winnie-the-Pooh courtesy of the New York Public Library, where Christopher Robin’s original stuffed bear lives.
- Kept in a bulletproof display case at the New York Public Library, Christopher Robin’s original plush Pooh toys see about 750,000 visitors per year. They are extremely fragile and their environment is consistently monitored for temperature, relative humidity and light levels.
- The only original toy you can’t see at the New York Public Library is Roo, he was lost sometime in the 1930s in an apple orchard.
- Forbes magazine has ranked Winnie-the-Pooh as the second most valuable children’s character in the world, after Mickey Mouse.
- Winnie-the-Pooh is the patron saint of teddy bears.