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    

Antique Tlc Raggedy Ann Doll Volland Toyworks Cloth Beloved Belindy Mammy Doll + Tag Raggedy Ann Andy Gruelle 3 DollsPrimitive, Folk Art, Raggedy Ann Type Angel Doll, Summer, OoakPair Of 15" Vintage Knickerbocker Raggedy Ann & Andy Dolls Mint 1960sRaggedy Ann And Andy Ventriloquist Dolls!!1:12 Scale Dollhouse, Raggedy Ann & Friends Dolls, Tallest Figure 1 3/4 Inch Rare 23" Antique Beloved Belindy Raggedy Ann Character Doll - All Original!!Pair Of 1940s Georgene Novelties Silsby Cloth Dolls ~ Raggedy Ann & Andy ~Bisque Porcelain Thimble Raggedy Ann1:12 Scale Dollhouse, Raggedy Ann & Friends Dolls, Tallest Figure, 1 3/4 InchPrimitive, Folk Art, Raggedy Ann Type Doll, Summer, OoakVintage Raggedy Ann Dolls Gruelle's 1947 Georgene 18 Inches & Mccall's PatternVintage Cotton Fabric Daisy Kingdom Raggedy Ann & Andy With Toys 1 Yard #806Primitive Folk Art Raggedy*betsy Ross Ann* Americana Cute Summer Home Decor OoakPrimitive Raggedy Ann DollLot Of Six Kiddies! Our Gang / Tom And Jerry, Raggedy Ann, Calling All Kids LookRaggedy Ann And Andy Nesting Dolls Made In RussiaRaggedy Ann & Andy Metal Watering Can-1973 Bobbs Merrill Co., Inc Chein Play,etc15" Vintage Georgene Raggedy Andy Cloth Doll - 1947 TagRaggedy Ann Doll Vintage Approx 50 Years OldRaggedy Ann And Andy Dolls - Lot Of Two - 1991 Direct Connect1:12 Scale Dollhouse, Raggedy Ann Doll, 1 5/8 Inch Tall23" Georgene Vintage Raggedy Ann Doll Original Clothes* Primitive Raggedy Ann ~ Country Doll ~ My Rag Doll Tag Heart, Blue , FloralPrimitive Raggedy Ann Doll~playtime Annie~flannel Bear~painted SneakersNew Handmade 20" Raggedy Ann DollVntg Progress Playmates Raggedy Ann Andy Embroidery Crib Quilt Kit NewBucilla Raggedy Ann/andy Heart To Heart Quilt Cross Stitch Kit, Nip 20113 Vintage Handmade Folk Rag Dolls Raggedy AnnRaggedy Ann Ornament & Red Bird Bobbs-merrill Company 1975Handmade Raggedy Ann Doll, Burgundy Floral, Strawberry ButtonsDoctor Nurse Raggedy Ann & Andy Novelty Fabric-62" X 92"-curtain WeightRaggedy Ann/andy Stitchery Kit Lot Gail Wilson Crochet Dolls Pillows & Cases4 Yards Cheater Quilt Fabric Raggedy Ann And AndyLot Of Raggedy Ann And Andy Items1:12 Scale Dollhouse, Raggedy Ann & Andy Dolls, About 1 3/8 Inch TallDaisy Kingdom Raggedy Ann Classic Border Print Fabric - 1 5/8 Yards 100% CottonVintage Raggedy Ann And Andy 1975 Childs Sleeping BagVintage Knickerbocker® Raggedy Ann And Andy DollsHallmark Ornaments Yarn Raggedy Ann, Angel Lot Vintage 1975Hallmark Lot 25 Ornaments Angel Barbie Santa Mouse Noahs Ark Raggedy Ann New Handmade 20" Raggedy Ann DollNew Handmade 20" Raggedy Ann Doll Cloth Soft Doll Raggedy Ann ~ Flowers Blue Dress Annie By AnnieprimdollsVintage 1941 Raggedy Ann Cut Out Dolls Milton Bradley 4106 OriginalMarcella, A Raggedy Ann Story By Johnny Gruelle, 192910” Handcrafted Dutch-themed Raggedy Ann And Andy Dolls11” Handcrafted Chicano Raggedy Ann And AndyRaggedy Ann And Andy Fleece Blanket And Pillow FabricJuly 1948 Raggedy Ann & Andy #26 Comic Book With Puppy On A Skate Cover. Fine!Two Vintage Raggedy Ann Brooches Q2T746. Vintage Raggedy Ann & The Left Handed Safety Pin Hc By Johnny Gruelle 1935Knickerbocker Rare Black Raggedy Ann And Andy DollsJohnny Gruelle, Creator Of Raggedy Ann And Andy By Patricia Hall Signed By JoniNip 10 Inch Knickerbocker Raggedy Ann & Raggedy Andy Hand Puppets 1973Soft Cloth Doll Raggedy Ann ~ Annie ฺblonde Hair No Dress By Annieprimdolls36” Handcrafted Raggedy Ann23” Handcrafted Zany Raggedy AnnVintage Raggedy Ann Hallmark Coin Purse Japan Zipper Works!20 Inch Raggedy Andy Camo Doll Dress

Recent News: Raggedy Ann and Andy Dolls

Source: Google News

Neil Patrick Harris to Narrate Children's Book AND TANGO MAKES THREE, Out ...
Broadway World, May 20th

In addition to numerous Caldecott, Newbery, and National Book Award winners, Simon & Schuster publishes such high-profile properties and series as Eloise, Olivia, Raggedy Ann & Andy(TM), Henry & Mudge, The Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew, the Dork Diaries ...Read more

Collector's addiction: Maine food editor owns nearly 500 cookbooks
Press Herald, May 20th

I can say with total certainty that I will never make the Whuffins (Wheaties cereal folded into Bisquick mix muffins) nor the Raggedy Ann Salad (“Body – fresh or canned peach half; Arms and legs – small celery sticks; Hair – grated yellow cheese,” etc...Read more

Bernadette Peters to Narrate 60th Anniversary Compilation of ELOISE Stories ...
Broadway World, May 19th

In addition to numerous Caldecott, Newbery, and National Book Award winners, Simon & Schuster publishes such high-profile properties and series as Eloise, Olivia, Raggedy Ann & Andy(TM), Henry & Mudge, The Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew, the Dork Diaries ...Read more

'Mad Max: Fury Road' – Minor characters that need their own origin story
Entertainment Weekly, May 18th

This gang had my favorite aesthetic: evil versions of Raggedy Ann and Andy, wearing wigs made out of strips of fabric, rubber, and any other found materials. Not to mention riding their bikes like they are competing in the X-Games. It makes me wonder...Read more

Little Nemo: A 110-Year-Old Character Sparks Renewed Interest
Cartoon Brew, May 18th

while Stephen Bissette takes his Tyrannosaurus rex character Tyrant and recasts him as a Cretaceous-period dreamer. The decades between Nemo and today have brought a lot of new inspiration, and in these Nemo strips are references to Raggedy Ann, ...Read more

Wheeling toy museum plays to kids at heart
Washington Times, May 16th

WHEELING, W.Va. (AP) - As Judith Rubin walked along, thoughtfully peering into the glass cases filled with rag, rubber and plastic dolls, one particular plaything caught her eye. It wasn't a Raggedy Ann, Cabbage Patch Kid or Barbie. No, it was an ...Read more

Faith briefs: May 16
South Bend Tribune, May 16th

SOUTH BEND — Raggedy Ann School is celebrating its 50th year at Grace United Methodist Church on Sunday at the church at 3012 Twyckenham Drive, South Bend. Raggedy Ann students will perform a song during the 10:30 a.m. service, which will be ...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