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    

Vtg Georgene Novelties Raggedy Ann Andy Doll Lot TagsGeorgene Raggedy Andy Beautiful Face20" Handmade Holiday Cloth Raggedy Ann Doll Made By EvaPrimitive Folk Art Winter Raggedy Ann Doll~gingerbread Man~broochDanbury Mint Raggedy Ann & Andy Christmas Tree Look NicePrimitive Big Santa Riding A Crow With Raggedy AnnHaunted Raggedy Ann DollChristmas Raggedy Ann Type Doll, Scottie Dog, Ooak Folk Art Primitive, Artist 50s Georgene Novelties Raggedy Andy 20" Blue Lattice Sailor Boy Rag DollPrimitive Raggedy Ann Gingerbread & Candy Cane Annie1960s Georgene Novelties Raggedy Ann Johnny Gruelle 19" Blue/red Flower Dress 1960s Georgene Novelties Raggedy Ann Johnny Gruelle 19" Blue/red Flower Dress Mib Nrfb Madame Alexander # 47745 "raggedy Ann And Andy Set" 8" DollsAmanda Remembered Boutique Smocked Bishop Dress ~ Girls Size 6 ~ Raggedy AnnPrimitive Raggedy Ann Raggedies & Stars Angel Annie50s Georgene Novelties Tagged Raggedy Andy 19" Red/white/blue Sailor Boy RagDaisy Kingdom Raggedy Ann & Andy Christmas Border Fabric 3 Yds X 44" #175850s Georgene Novelties Raggedy Ann Johnny Gruelle 20" Pink/rose Flower Dress Danbury Mint Raggedy Ann Doll 32" Tall Hand Tag Org Box Stand New Retired ToyOld Toy Lot Popeye Olive Oil Iggy Troll Raggedy Ann Clown Charlie BrownHandmade Christmas Button Eye Raggedy Ann Doll In Peppermint Candy DressOoak Polymer Clay Handmade Miniature Raggedy Ann Fairy Garden MiniatureRaggedy Ann Doll With Wooden Heart In Chest, 16''Handmade 20' Christmas Raggedy Ann Doll Made By Jodi LynnRaggedy Ann And Andy Doll Vintage Christmas Ornament Italy9 Vintage Weebles And A Weeble Horse. Raggedy Ann And Annie.Kathe Kruse Doll Raggedy Ann & Andy Dolls 4" Cloth Made In Germany With TagsVintage Black Americana Collectible! Beloved Belindy: A Raggedy Ann BookSet Of 2 Raggedy Ann & Andy Christmas Ornaments Usewit Fabric Panels Cotton Xmas36" Homemade Raggedy Ann Doll (only Displayed -- About 20 Years Old)15inch Knickerbocker Raggedy Ann Musical DollNew Raggedy Ann And Andy Playskool Soft Christmas Dolls Unused(2) Hallmark Vintage 2001 Raggedy Ann & Andy Christmas Ornaments In Box Vintage Raggedy Ann Rag Doll Floral Yellow DressGood-kruger "red" 20" Doll & Raggedy Andy PaperdollsVintage Knickerbocker Raggedy Ann Doll 32" Original ClothesMarie Osmond Raggedy Ann And Andy Porcelain DollHuge Vintage Raggedy Ann Andy Lot 38 Pc Knickerbocker Dolls, Patterns, EtcPrimitive Raggedy Ann Doll "violet" Gingerbread Christmas Gingerbread CookieHandmade Christmas Three Piece Dress For 20 Inch Raggedy Ann Made By Rose 1972 Fitz & Floyd Raggedy Ann Doll Vintage Ceramic Coin Piggy Bank Flowers Htf Old Antique 1941 Raggedy Ann Game W Orig Instructions Unused Belindy CamelRaggedy Ann And Andy Doll LotPattern Primitive Santa Claus Snowman Raggedy Ann Witch Bunny Ornies Uncut OopRaggedy Andy Doll Country Primitive 32" Honey & Me Inc. 2002 Raggedy Ann & Andy Figurine Hobby Horse Enesco Good Companion Makes The Day Raggedy Ann And Andy Music Box Let Me Call You Sweetheart Very Rare!Dakin 17" Raggedy Ann 85th Birthday Plush Skater Ice Skating Nwt10 Vintage Receiving Blanket Dundee Riegel Raggedy Ann Bears Cat Animal FlowersVtg Rm Trush 1975 Bobbs Merrill Sterling Silver Raggedy Ann Christmas OrnamentRaggedy Ann And Raggedy Andy 22 Inch Hand Made Set Of New Cloth Dolls Raggedy Ann And Raggedy Andy 22 Inch Hand Made Set Of New Cloth Dolls Vtg 70s Knickerbocker The Camel With The Wrinkled Knees Plush Raggedy Ann AndyPrimitive Style Raggedy Ann Annie Doll / Folk Art Raggedy Ann And Her Kitty CatHandmade Raggedy Ann Doll...dolls By Debe17" Primitive Handmade Raggedy Ann Doll, By Tlc!Bucilla Baby Raggedy Ann & Andy Stamped Cross Stitch Crib Quilt Kit 45587 34x43Handmade Christmas Three Piece Dress For 20 Inch Raggedy Ann Made By Rose Ooak Dollhouse Miniature Raggedy Ann & Andy Handmade Polymer Clay Mini Rag DollsRaggedy Ann & Andy By Enesco "heartfelt Hugs Make Happy Friends" New In Org. Box

Recent News: Raggedy Ann and Andy Dolls

Source: Google News

Marines' Toys for Tots off to slow start
Shreveport Times, November 24th

He started Toys for Tots after his wife, Diane, was unable to find a charity that would accept a handmade Raggedy Ann doll for a poor child. He used his film industry clout to persuade Walt Disney Studios to create the logo still used in the drives...Read more

Holiday exhibit at Roberson is “tradition” for many
Press & Sun-Bulletin, November 23rd

A talking Woody Woodpecker hand puppet, made by Mattel, sits in a case near a Raggedy Ann doll. A few paces over is a case filled with Tonka trucks. For Bill Cook, of Franklin, this section is among his favorites. “It brings back a lot of memories...Read more

Not all treasures worth keeping are made of gold
The Virginian-Pilot, November 22nd

Pat Fowler's husband calls her Raggedy Ann doll a zombie, but she calls it her good friend. Her mother sewed it for her during an otherwise bleak Christmas in 1941. Fowler was 6, and the family was stationed at Pearl Harbor. Her father was in the Navy...Read more

Greta Van Susteren has history of being funny
Appleton Post Crescent, November 21st

15, 1962, Post-Crescent letter to the editor she wrote on Raggedy Ann stationery. Van Susteren's point: Speaking out is nothing new for her. On Thursday, I dug through Post-Crescent archives, curious to learn what other humorous comments were included...Read more

Downtown Akron is tinseled and lit: tree festival and 10 other holiday ...
cleveland.com, November 21st

The course winds through department store window displays from the 1960's, 70's and 80's, including "The 3 Little Pigs", Peter Pan and Raggedy Ann. Nine holes cost $3. Breakfast with Santa. Eat breakfast with Santa Claus on Dec. 6, 13, 20 and 21 from 9...Read more

Raggedy Ann poured my Halloween coffee
Jackson Hole News&Guide, October 29th

On Halloween morning I found myself entering a crumbling cafe, where an elderly waitress seemingly consumed by the bleakness of her financial future came to take my breakfast order dressed as Raggedy Ann. The poor woman. It was 7 in the morning, and ...Read more

Made in Michigan: Raggedy Ann dolls
WZZM, August 7th

Who knew Raggedy Ann has a Muskegon connection? Ann Dake did, and she's organized an exhibit running at the Muskegon Heritage Museum through Saturday to tell others about the connection. The character and doll were created around 1915 by a ...Read more

Three downtown museums to celebrate Raggedy Ann's Muskegon roots
The Muskegon Chronicle, July 27th

Raggedy Ann -- the well-known rag doll with red yarn hair, a triangle nose and star of a series of children's books written by American writer Johnny Gruelle -- will be the focus of events held at the Muskegon Museum of Art, the Muskegon Heritage...Read more