Winnie the Pooh lives by himself in a tree in Hundred Acre Wood under the name of Sanders. "It means he had the name over the door in gold letters, and lived under it."- the book said. This is the Pooh from the book. The real Winnie the Pooh and his five friends live now in the New York Public Library, located near Bryant Park in midtown New York.
The stuffed bear was made at the J.K. Farnell factory, which made bears exclusively for Harrod's department store in London in the 1920's. English writer Alan Alexander Milne the author of the book) bought the bear, originally known as Edward Bear, in 1921 when his son Christopher Robin was one year old. Christopher had named his toy after Winnipeg, a bear which he and his father often saw at London Zoo.
During the first World War, troops from Winnipeg (Manitoba, Canada) were being transported to eastern Canada. When the train stopped at White River, Ontario, a lieutenant Harry Colebourn bought a small female black bear cub for $20 from a hunter who had killed its mother. He named her 'Winnipeg', after his hometown of Winnipeg, or 'Winnie' for short. Winnie went to Britain with the unit. Colebourn, now a Captain, took Winnie to the London Zoo for a long loan. He formally presented the London Zoo with Winnie in December 1919 where he became a popular attraction and lived until 1934.
Eeyore was brought for Christopher as a Christmas gift in 1921, Piglet was a gift from a neighbor of the Milne family in Chelsea. Kanga and Roo appeared in the nursery in 1925, while Tigger didn't show up in the nursery until 1927. Owl and Rabbit have never been never real toys.
Elliott Macrae, the American publisher of the Pooh series, visited A.A. Milne at his house in Sussex in 1947 , and sees the original toy animals in the corner of the living room. Mr. Milne gave Mr. Macrae the toys as a gift, and with Mr. Milne's permission, he took the toys on a promotional tour of the United States. Milne provided a 'birth certificate' to travel with the toys. Dutton Publishing, American publisher, insured the toys for $50,000, a vast amount of money in those days. The real Pooh and friends were on a tour for ten years and in 1956 were put on display at E.P. Dutton & Co. Publishers in New York City. The stuffed animals made their last trip to England in 1976 to participate in the 50th birthday of Winnie-the-Pooh.
In 1987, the owner of the five toys gave them to the New York Public Library, with the blessing of Christopher Milne, on the sole condition that they be publicly displayed.
For the next decade, the original Winnie-the-Pooh and his four friends associates, Tigger, Eeyore, Kanga and Piglet, have resided in a climate-controlled display case in the children's room of the New York Public Library's Donnell Library Center on West 53d Street.
In the beginning of the 1998 Ms. Dunwoody, a member of the British Parliament, decided that the toys were being held against their will. ''I saw them recently and they look very unhappy indeed,'' Ms. Dunwoody said , ''I am not surprised, considering they have been incarcerated in a glass case in a foreign country for all these years. ...Just like the Greeks want their Elgin Marbles back -- so we want our Winnie the Pooh back, along with all his splendid friends,'' she said and asked the British Government to secure the release of the bear and his friends and to return them to England.
Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani vowed to do ''anything we can do to keep them here.'' Ms. Dunwoody ''probably thinks of us as still being a colony,'' the Mayor continued. ''We were freed a long time ago.''
Today you can see the beloved toys in a bulletproof climate and light controlled glass cube with its own alarm system at the NYPL Children's Center, room 84.