The architecturally radical Steiff teddy bear factory in Giengen, Germany is a three storey, double skin glass curtain wall building with a steel frame, built in 1903. It is almost unknown in architectural history. On the other hand the loadbearing brick Fagus factory built in 1911 to a design by Gropius and Meyer, in spite of its nineteenth century technology, has become a hallowed icon of modern architecture and a UNESCO World Heritage site. The article discusses the contested history of both buildings and offers some suggestions as to why one became famous and the other did not. It also discusses the equally contested history of the teddy bear, showing that in both cases, history tends to ignore facts in favour of good stories.