J. K. Farnell & Co. Ltd.
Group From 1840 To 1968
Manufacturing company. Founded in Notting Hill by John Kirby Farnell. Initially they produced fancy items such as tea cosies and pincushions. Farnell's daughter Agnes started making soft toys in 1870. The family moved to The Elms, Acton, in about 1898 and a new factory was built on part of the site, where the first teddy bear was produced in about 1908. A Farnell 1921 "Alpha" bear was purchased in Harrods by Daphne Milne (wife of A. A.) for their son Christopher Robin, for his first birthday. This bear became the inspiration for Winnie-the-Pooh. The company ceased trading in the 1960s and the Farnell name was taken over by the Merrythought company in 1996.