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 Folk Art Cupboard Doll Sweet Raggedy Ann "faith"Vintage Raggedy Ann And Andy Dolls Johnny Gruelle's Own Georgene NoveltiesVintage Volland Raggedy Ann Doll-patent Stamp 1918- Excellent ConditionRaggedy Ann And Andy Cookie Jar* Primitive Raggedy Ann Doll ~ Country Doll ~ Annie Mustard * Stars * Georgene Raggedy Ann & Andy Family (4) Two 20 Inch And Two (15)Japan Festival 2001 Raggedy Ann & Andy On Camel , Ltd Ed # 0004 / 3,500.primitive ~raggedy Ann~i Love Annies~Schmid 1978 Fine Pewter Raggedy Ann & Andy FigurineRaggedy Ann Georgene Rare Silsby Johnny Gruelle (2)Primitive Raggedy Ann Doll 99 Cent Auction!!Raggedy Ann And Andy Figurine Lot - New20" Handmade Cloth Raggedy Ann Doll Made By EvaPrimitive Raggedy Ann Doll "amber"christmas In July With Folk Art SnowmanVintage 1940s Georgene Raggedy Ann Doll 15" Look!1983 Raggedy Ann & Andy Push Button Telephone - Bobbs Merrill - MibPrimitive~folk Art~raggedy Ann~***~harvest Blessings~***~Knickerbocker Raggedy Ann And Andy Play House Vintage.primitive ~raggedy Ann~farm House Living ~20in~.primitive ~raggedy Ann~dance In The Garden With Me~Danbury Mint Santa's Special Delivery W/ Raggedy Ann & Andy Christmas PorcelainSet Of 3 Primitive Raggedy Ann Mini 5" Doll Ornies ~peg Hangers ~bowl Fillers2 Raggedy Ann And 2 Raggedy Andy Dolls Applause 11" LongHandmade Primitive Button Eye Raggedy Ann Witch Doll In Halloween Glitter DressWee Forest Folk "girl Mouse With Her Raggedy Ann Doll", Annette Petersen 1982Sweet Primitive Raggedy Ann Doll ~button Eyes~ 1930s Dress~ Handcrafted Folk ArtLot Of 9 Vintage Raggedy Ann & Andy & Others By Johnny Gruelle Hc VgucRaggedy Ann And Andy Two 30" Tall Vintage DollsMib Raggedy Ann & Andy Kelly And Tommy Barbie Dolls Collector Edition Storybook3 Vintage Raggedy Ann & Andy Dolls Knickerbocker Johnny Myrtle Gruelle Nice!!Vintage Set 1960's Knickerbocker Raggedy Ann & Andy W/ Original Clothes~1 Owner!Tiny Raggedy Ann & Andy Dolls, Japanese Design By Young Epoch, Key ChainBucilla Prequilted Raggedy Ann Andy Sleepy Time Stamped Cross Stitch Crib QuiltPrimitive Raggedy Ann Doll & Matching Quilt ~ Homespun Plaid ~ HandcraftedPrimitive Raggedy Ann Doll Cutie ~handcrafted Folk Art From Primsical PrairiePrimitive Raggedy Ann Doll ~ Curly Toes ~ 1930s Dress ~ Handcrafted Folk ArtLot Of 9 Vintage Raggedy Ann & Andy & Others By Johnny Gruelle Hc VgucRaggedy Ann In Cookie Land 1st Ed 1931 Antique Childrens Book Kids Toy Doll VtgRaggedy Ann And Andy "music Brings Friends Together" 868744Primitive Raggedy Ann Doll "karlee" Pumpkins And Sunflowers Hm Pumpkin Folk Art15" Raggedy Ann And Andy Winter By Applause 2001 With TagsPrimitive Raggedy Ann Doll~ Cross Eyed Cutie ~ Handcrafted Folk Art.primitive ~raggedy Ann~pantry Needfuls~The Original Raggedy Ann And Andy Quilt By Applause Crib Baby NurseryVintage 6" Raggedy Ann And Andy Knickerbocker #0017 & #0018 Mib3 Black Raggedy Ann Raggedy Andy Dolls With Tags Applause Johnny Gruelle3 Yards Daisy Kingdom Raggedy Ann & Andy Sampler Fabric Buddy L Vintage Raggedy Ann And Andy Camper VanDaisy Kingdom Fabric Panel To Make Two 25" Raggedy Ann & Andy Cloth Dolls Raggedy Ann And Andy Baby AlbumVintage Raggedy Ann And Andy Grow And Learn Library Book Lot18" Homemade Primitive Style Raggedy Ann Doll Tea Dyed - 99 Cent Auction Raggedy Ann & Andy #1 Vf/nm 9.0 File Copy White Pages Gold Key 1971 No ResvRaggedy Andy Stories 1st Ed 1920 Antique Johnny Gruelle Toy Doll Vtg Ann Color PHsn Storybook Knits Raggedy Ann Andy Yellow Sweater Cardigan MediumRaggedy Ann And Andy Red Zippered Vinyl Suitcase, Bag Or PurseVintage Knickerbocker Original Raggedy Ann & Andy Dolls In Original BoxesPrimitive Raggedy Ann Doll & World's Fair Quilt~handcrafted By Primsical PrairieVintage Beloved Belindy By Johnny Gruelle 1926 Raggedy Ann Hardcover Book Black Daisy Kingdom Raggedy Ann And Raggedy Andy Fabric Panel. 95"x45"

Recent News: Raggedy Ann and Andy Dolls

Source: Google News

Another great patriotic idea
austin360 (blog), July 6th

Where was the Raggedy Ann doll created? Indiana. Which state is the Grape State? California. Where is the largest man-made geyser in the world? Idaho. Find more fun facts at 50states.com. Design a country. If your kids could create their own country...Read more

Canelli: The wonderful little golden books
Wicked Local Norwood, July 4th

Besides our well-worn copy of “Make Way for Ducklings” and my mother's own copies of “Raggedy Ann and Raggedy Andy,” not many children's books made our family's cross-country move with in the late 1950s. When my younger brothers were born in the ...Read more

Temporary exhibit opens at Fraizer History Museum
WLKY Louisville, July 3rd

And then just simple things like her little dolls, her very first Raggedy Ann doll. Everyone will find some unique attachment and connection to her. Everyone has wonderful emotions that are directly connected to Shirley Temple,” Theriault's president...Read more

Grace Sullivan Esplin
St George News, July 2nd

Grace Sullivan Esplin, 86, passed away on June 30, 2015, due to complications of heart disease and a stroke. She was born on September 18, 1928, in Hurricane, Utah, to Frank and Ellen McMullin Sullivan. She married Darlo Esplin on March 24, 1949, in...Read more

World-renowned Raggedy Ann art installation added to downtown Muskegon
MLive.com, July 2nd

MUSKEGON, MI – Two seven-foot painted structures were installed in downtown Muskegon in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the making of world-renowned doll, Raggedy Ann on Wednesday, July 1. Raggedy Ann – a rag doll with red yarn hair, ...Read more

Raggedy Ann enthusiasts celebrate character's 100th birthday
WAND, June 12th

Officials say the birthday celebration will be held during the annual Raggedy Ann Rally in Arcola on June 12 and 13. Among the events planned this year will be a welcome dinner and auction of collectible Raggedy Ann and Andy items at Yoder's Kitchen in ...Read more

GUEST COLUMN: Scarecrow Joe and Raggedy Ann
Northwest Georgia News, June 10th

I called her Raggedy Ann, but when we walked her into the jail one of the deputies said, “Watch out, here comes The Maggot.” We booked her in and the jailer told a woman matron, “Take her up and see that she gets a shower.” Pete and I went back to the ...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