Fun facts about the 'real' Winnie-the-Pooh and his friends
The curious name of Winnie-the-Pooh came from Christopher Robin, from a combination of
the names of a real bear and a pet swan. During the 1920s there was a black bear
named "Winnie" in the London Zoo who had been the mascot for the Winnipeg regiment
of the Canadian army. "Pooh" was the name of a swan in When We Were Very Young.
Pooh was purchased at Harrod's department store in London and given by
A.A. Milne to his son Christopher Robin on his first birthday, August 21, 1921.
He was called Edward (proper form of Teddy) Bear at the time.
The rest of the toys were received as gifts by Christopher Robin between 1920 and 1928.
Not only Christopher Robin played with the toys; so, apparently, did the family dog,
which may have contributed to their well-worn appearance.
The baby kangaroo stuffed animal (named Roo) was lost in an apple orchard during the 1930s.
Winnie-the-Pooh had adventures with Piglet, Eeyore, Kanga, Roo, Owl, Rabbit, and Tigger
in the 100 Aker (Acre) Wood (based on the Ashdown Forest in southern England,
located near the Milne family home).
Owl and Rabbit were brought to life to join Pooh and pals Eeyore, Piglet, Kanga, Roo,
and Tigger, by Milne and illustrator Ernest H. Shepard.
The stuffed animals range in height from 25" (Eeyore, the biggest) to 4 1/2" (Piglet, the smallest).
The real Pooh and his friends are on display in the Central Children's Room at the
Donnell Library Center, which is visited by over three-quarters of a million people annually.
A guest book there has been signed by their many admirers.