Authors: Walter Diem
Date Submitted: March 31, 2009
Article Type: Discourse

For many European kite enthusiasts, the Roloplan is a kite they consider just as important as the Hargrave, the Eddy, or the Cody. It is interesting for collectors because many original examples of it still exist and have been traded time and again. Small wonder: the Roloplan was manufactured from 1909 to 1943 and again from 1950 to 1968 in altogether twenty different sizes!

Scarcely any other kite has been similarly available. In addition to the copyrighted mass production, directions for the construction of the Roloplan were published in a number of craft books from the 1930s to the 1950s.

Hargrave, Eddy, Cody. You read the names and immediately you visualize the appropriate kite. Behind the Roloplan also stands a name, but he remains outside Germany almost unknown. Richard Steiff, the maker of the Roloplan has become famous worldwide for another product: he invented the Teddy Bear. He also designed factory buildings for the Margarete Steiff Toy Factory, managed for a time – from 1903 to 1910 – by him, which buildings’ steel and glass construction were at the time a sensation, and which today are still in step with the times and are used for production with minimal technical improvements. They can be considered an anticipation of the Bauhaus style.

Page Number: 75
PDF Link: Discourse Issue