These are the Original Stuffed Animals That Inspired Winnie-the-Pooh
On display at the New York Public Library’s Stephen A. Schwarzman Building (Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street) you will find the original stuffed animals that inspired the famous children’s character Winnie-the-Pooh, which was created by author A. A. Milne and illustrator E. H. Shepard.
The NYPL explains:
“Long before Walt Disney turned Pooh and his pals into movie stars, Christopher Robin Milne, a very real little boy living in England, received a small stuffed bear on his first birthday. He named him Edward Bear (later renamed Winnie-the-Pooh). Following Edward came the rest of the stuffed animals, which Christopher loved and played with throughout his childhood.
One day, Christopher’s father, A. A. Milne, and an artist named Ernest H. Shepard, decided that these animals, and two other imaginary friends, Owl and Rabbit, would make fine characters in a bedtime story. From that day on, Pooh and his friends have had many fanciful adventures, from Piglet’s encounter with a Heffalump to Eeyore’s loss of his tail. These stories have been embraced by millions of children and adult readers for nearly 100 years. [source]