When illustrator and cartoonist Johnny Gruelle’s terminally ill daughter, Marcella, found a faded rag doll in her grandmother’s attic, he painted a new, smiling face on the toy. Naming it Raggedy Ann after two poems by his friend James Whitcomb Riley, “The Raggedy Man” and “Orphan Annie,” he made up a series of stories around this character to entertain his only child, who loved to spend hours playing dolls.

After her death in 1916, Gruelle wrote and illustrated 25 storybooks based on those tales. Responding to the series’ popularity, in 1918, Gruelle and his family made several dozen dolls to sell with the books, and later that year, Gruelle licensed the publisher, the P.F. Volland Company, to manufacture the dolls based on his 1915 patent for an all-cloth doll with shoe-button eyes, a painted face, brown yarn hair, a dress, pantaloons, a pinafore, stripped legs, and black cloth shoes.

Soon after the dolls were sold, Gruelle received a package from a childhood playmate of his mother, who explained that their mothers had made a pair of boy-and-girl companion dolls for their two children. In the package, she had sent him Raggedy Ann’s “twin brother,” Andy, and soon the family started to license dolls of Raggedy Andy and other characters from the books, including Beloved Belindy and the Camel with the Wrinkled Knees, as well as coloring books, puzzles, and games. All are hot collectors’ items today.

It is rumored that the original P.F. Volland dolls had a real candy heart, but after parents complained the candy was switched out with a cardboard heart. Mollye Goldman was the first, in 1935, to produce the dolls with an “I Love You” heart imprinted on the chest.

Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)



This densely packed index of antique and vintage dolls claims to offer over 10,000 images of dolls from the 1800s … [read review or visit site]

Vintage Dolls of the 50s

Vintage Dolls of the 50s

Rhonda Wilson's collection of 1950s dolls, organized by name (Ginny and friends, Littlest Angel and friends, etc.) … [read review or visit site]

Kaylees Korner of Collectible Dolls

Kaylees Korner of Collectible Dolls

Kaylee's extensive collection of vintage dolls from the 1930s to 90s. Click the balloons to browse. Though Kaylee s… [read review or visit site]

Museum of Childhood

Museum of Childhood

Embrace your inner child on this website from the Victoria and Albert Museum, filled with high-quality images and i… [read review or visit site]

Clubs & Associations

Discussion Forums

Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

Primitive Raggedy Ann Doll~mother's Day Blessings~lil Annie~prim PillowPrimitive~folk Art~raggedy Ann Doll~****~rose Bud~****~Daisy Kingdom Raggedy Ann & Andy Dress For 35" Patti Playpal Doll ClothesPrimitive Folk Art Raggedy Ann Doll With Her Prim Sunflowers*ready For Spring*Primitive Folk Art Raggedy Ann Doll With Her Favorite Olde Teddy Bear*prim Annie1940's Silsby Raggedy Ann And Andy Doll Pair Georgene 22 1/2" Primitive Folkart Raggedy Ann ~ Annie Loves WatermelonPrimitive Prim Folk Art Raggedy Ann Doll Cookie Cutter 28" "daphne" Must See!!!Primitive Folkart Raggedy Ann ~ Nurse/candy Striper Annie DollPrimitive Folkart Raggedy Ann ~ Americana Annie ~ PinwheelPrimitive Folk Art Raggedy Ann Doll With Her Little Raggedy Doll Primitive Raggedy Ann Gray And Yellow AnnieVintage 23" Georgene (johnny Gruell) Raggedy Ann, (all Original)Handmade Raggedy Ann Exposition Style, 18 1/2 Tall.Primitive Folk Art Raggedy Ann Doll Spring Hang Tag Annie Handmade Rusty PinVintage Rare "georgene" 1945-47 Johnny Gruelle 20" Raggedy Ann Button EyesVintage Bobbs & Merrill Colorola Raggedy Annd & Andy Erasable Coloring Book RollHand Embroidered Quilt W/raggedy Ann/andy, Black America Figure, VintagePrimitive~grungy~~handmade Raggedy Ann & Andy Dolls~~15" ~~not SignedAntique P.f. Volland Raggedy Andy DollEnid Collins Of Texas Wood Child's Purse Pals Raggedy Ann & AndyPrimitive Handmade Grungy Folk Art (playful Annie) Raggedy Ann Doll OoakOld Buddy L #5357 Raggedy Ann And Andy Camper Truck W/ Original BoxVintage Buddy L Raggedy Ann And Andy Camper/all Metal Rear Doors (rare)19 ½” Vintage Knickerbocker Raggedy Ann And Andy Dolls Raggedy Ann 85th Birthday/anniversary Rag Doll Large 24" By Dakin EucFolk Art Primitive Americana Patriotic Star Heart Dress Raggedy Ann Annie DollEarly 1991 Large 23" Raggedy Ann Doll From Toni Duhon Of The Tattered Rabbit Patriotic Primitive Raggedy Ann Americana Annie12" Primitive Spring Raggedy Ann Doll By Primtimes #20151063 P.strawberry Outfit For 20 In. Raggedy Ann Doll Made By EvaPrimitive Hc Raggedy Ann Doll In Green Shelf Sitter Ornie TuckVintage Raggedy Ann And Andy Fabric Almost 3 Yards From 1978Daisy Kingdom Raggedy Ann Classic Border #1744 2 YardsPsx Raggedy Ann With Teddy Bear D-954 Rubber Stamp Vintage 1983 Macmillan,inc19" Pair Georgene Raggedy Ann & Andy Lifelong Friends-tag Stamped PalmieriRaggedy Ann & Andy Porcelain Teapot, Creamer & Sugar Bowl Set/cert.internationalRaggedy Ann In The Golden Meadow By Johnny GruellePrimitive Raggedy Ann Cherry AnnieHandmade Primitive Raggedy Ann Doll In Patriotic Americana Fabric Dress1992 Dainty Raggedy Ann Andy Doll Teapot Japan Japanese Kiri Max Factor PremiumDaisy Kingdom Raggedy Ann Back To School Double Border 3 YardsLot 2 Honey & Me Primitive Miniature 6 1/2" Raggedy Annie Andy Dolls Primitive Patriotic Raggedy Ann Doll , Rustic Star, One Of A KindBrand New Handmade 25” Raggedy Ann Cloth Doll Curly Red Hair, Very Cute!New Handmade 25” Raggedy Ann Cloth Doll School Classroom African American Brown Applause Raggedy Ann And Andy Quilt12" Primitive Spring Raggedy Ann Doll By Primtimes #2015104Handmade Primitive Raggedy Ann Doll In Americana Star Homespun Dress Folk ArtRaggedy Ann 1970's Knickerbocker 32"Both Raggedy Ann & Raggedy Andy (80th Birthday Edition)sealed!Vintage Raggedy Ann & Andy Fabric Daisy Kingdom #4138 Flannel 2 Yards ExcellentCute Primitive Raggedy Ann Doll~ Curly Toes ~ 15" ~ Handcrafted Folk ArtDaisy Kingdom Fabric Panel To Make Two 25" Raggedy Ann & Andy Cloth Dolls Raggedy Ann And Andy Doll Set 18+"Danbury Mint Porcelain Raggedy Ann & Andy “picnic Fun’” CollectibleVintage 16" Raggedy Ann Doll With Clothes I Love You! June 1947 Raggedy Ann & Andy #13. Walt Kelly Story, Pussycat Cover.fine!Handmade 4 Pc Raggedy Ann Dress For A18-20''dollVintage Schmid Raggedy Andy Music Box, 1974 The Bobbs-merrill Co.

Recent News: Raggedy Ann and Andy Dolls

Source: Google News

Pols & Politics: Walsh hire connected, but not like you'd think
Boston Herald, April 18th

“It was pretty miserable for most of my life if you had been one of my dolls. Because I used to line my dolls up and teach them day after day,” she added, stabbing her finger in the air to illustrate the stern early teaching style Raggedy Ann and...Read more

Watch at Your Own Risk: Video of Creepy Doll Triggers Sickness
RYOT, April 18th

Annabelle, a Raggedy Ann doll, seemed harmless enough, but every time her owner would return home, she would found her somewhere else than where she'd left her. “For some reason, dolls seem to attract more spirits and paranormal haunted activities ...Read more

Getting an early start on Fourth of July festivities
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, April 17th

We have a stage and a sound system — both donated through the efforts of committee member Stephanie Drake (who dressed up as Raggedy Ann years ago for the talent show). Her musician husband, Jared, is our sound man. Her parents, Pat and Tony ...Read more

'Talkin' Fool' Will Rogers was nobody's fool
Loveland Reporter-Herald, April 14th

In the 1920s, the Raggedy Ann doll was used as a symbol by the anti-vaccination movement. It was true that the doll never caught any diseases, but of course, her head was stuffed with straw. • What a great idea for a movie plot. During the Second World...Read more

Sex Week Drag Show performers share stage experiences
UTDailyBeacon.com, April 13th

Twelve students braved the stage with extensive costumes and props, and punny stage names, like "Raggedy Max" who stepped out of a Raggedy Ann-style doll box and "VaCeline Dion," who baptized an attendee under a flowing blue cloth while dressed as ...Read more

Rescue a Pet: Raggedy Ann
WPRI 12 Eyewitness News, April 8th

Raggedy Ann has a health condition called hyperthyroidism, which is managed with medication and doctor visits. She is very sweet and easygoing. However, she is not a fan of other cats but she may get used to other dogs. If you'd like to adopt Raggedy...Read more

Adopt a cat: Meet Raggedy Ann
NorthJersey.com, April 1st

Raggedy Ann is a young, female, calico cat. Mostly white with calico markings on her head, Raggedy Ann would appreciate some TLC. She is about 1 1/2 years old. She has been at the shelter for over a year. She is very affectionate. Please come meet this ...Read more

The Strange Link Between Raggedy Ann and the Anti-Vaxxers
Philadelphia Magazine (blog), February 23rd

I didn't have a Raggedy Ann doll when I was little, but I had Raggedy Ann books, written and illustrated by one Johnny Gruelle. The one I especially remember was called Raggedy Ann's Lucky Pennies. What I mostly remember about it was that it was dark ...Read more