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”)

Dollreference.com

Dollreference.com

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~easter Bunny~jesus And Me Soft BookPrimitive~folk Art~raggedy Ann~***~annie In Pink~hankie ApronPrimitive Olde Raggedy Ann Doll With Her Little DollyVintage Htf Animal Print Myrtle Gruelle Silsby Raggedy Ann Doll 15" Georgene Vintage Raggedy Ann And Andy Doll Johnny Gruelle's 1947 Georgene 18 InchesFantastic Pair Of Vintage Georgene Raggedy Ann And Andy Dolls And BoxPrimitive Raggedy Ann Rose Bud AnniePrimitive Raggedy Ann Prim Sunflower & Star Lil AnnieSweet Primitive 11" Raggedy Ann Annie Doll With Sweet Annie Flowers And TagMadame Alexander 8" Mop Top Billy And Mop Top Wendy Raggedy Ann Type DollsPrimitive Folkart Raggedy Ann ~ Spring Tea Thyme Annie ~ Retro Tea Pots6 Volume Lot Of Antique Children's Books Including Raggedy Ann Mother Goose~~sweet Primitive Raggedy Ann Doll~~shelf Sitter Angel Doll,old Lace Wings HeartPrimitive Raggedy Ann Doll, Antique Feed Sack Fabric, One Of A KindPrimitive Beloved Belindy, Raggedy Ann & Andy ~ 3 Doll Set~small 7"~1930s Repro The Original Raggedy Ann America's Folk Doll 38 1/2" Tall Knickerbocker Toy 1973Rare Vintage Raggedy Ann & Andy I Love You "wake Up" Talking Alarm Clock Works!Primitive Raggedy Ann Crow & Apple AnnieApplause Raggedy Ann And Andy Dolls 30 InchesVintage Raggedy Ann & Andy Book Lot Johnny Gruelle 1960's Marcella, Camel, WilleKnickerbocker Raggedy Ann Doll 35 InHtf 1998 Rags Raggedy Ann & Andy By Applause - Unusual Legs! New With TagsPrimitive Raggedy Ann/anniePrimitive Santa Claus,,raggedy Ann, Handmade In Usa, April Cummins1944 Raggedy Ann & Andy Railroad Picture Puzzle No. 4472 By Milton BradleyPrimitive Raggedy Ann, Rabbit Spring, Antique Quilt, One Of A Kind DollPrimitive Raggedy Ann Patriotic Doll One Of A Kind*nwt* Dakin Raggedy Ann 16" Bear 85th Anniversary W/ Cake & 2 Friends *retired*Vintage 1950s Raggedy Ann & Andy By Wm H Hirsch/johnny Gruelle Dept 56 Snowbabies Guest Collection Raggedy AnnHand Painted Japan Raggedy Ann Andy Cookie Jar Hand Painted Saniro? Vintage 50'sAdventures Of Raggedy Ann & Andy Original Cell Sacred Cat Adventure Cbs 3 Primitive Raggedy Ann Doll Ornies~mini 4-1/2" Size~ Bowl Fillers~ Peg-hangersRaggedy Ann And Andy Vintage Ceramic Figure Set Norleans Korea Figurine Rag DollRaggedy Ann And Andy Doll Anniversary 1995 By Applause W/ Certificates Andy DollRaggedy Ann, Gruelle, Song Books, Lot Of 3.Superman-49 Tarzan Kellogg-49, Popeye Raggedy Ann/andy-47 Lassie I Love Lucy LotVintage Raggedy Ann And Andy Dolls 17" Tall Raggedy Ann MaterialSterling Silver - 3d Raggedy Ann Doll 4g - Charm Pendant Sf5171Vintage 1974 Raggedy Ann And Andy Magnetic Pencil Case Bobbs Merrill CompVintage 1981 Large Roll Of Raggedy Ann & Andy Wrapping Paper Bobbs-merrill Co. Tommy & Kelly Raggedy Ann & Andy Storybook NrfbPrimitive Raggedy Ann Set, Homespun Fabric, One Of A Kind Doll, April CumminsDept 56 Snowbabies Guest Collection "raggedy Andy"Soft Cloth Doll Raggedy Ann ~ Annie Nurse Save Bunny By AnnieprimdollsNew Handmade Raggedy Ann Clothes For 20" Doll - Dress,bloomers, Apron & SweaterHandmade Primitive Irish Raggedy Ann Doll In Shamrock Dress St Patricks DayPrimitive Handmade Easter Button Eye Raggedy Ann Doll In Bunny DressRaggedy Ann And Andy By Duck House Heirloom Dolls Approx. 15" Length So AdorablePrimitive Raggedy Ann Doll Cutie-pie ~ Homespun/plaid ~button Eyes~ HandcraftedPrimitive Raggedy Ann Doll~silly Pouty Face~homespun~button Eyes~handcraftedSweet Primitive Raggedy Ann Doll ~homespun ~button Eyes ~handcrafted Folk ArtRaggedy Ann Doll Anniversary 1995 By Applause W/ CertificatesVintage Debartolo Original Raggedy Ann Porcelain Figure, Cute And Playful, 1983Vintage 1960's - 70's Miami Beach Florida Raggedy Ann & Andy Beach TowelRaggedy Ann & Andy And The Camel With Wrinkled Knees Dakin Talking Raggedy Ann & Andy Special Collector's Edition 2000 NibBrass Key Keepsakes Classic Raggedy Ann & Andy Porcelain Keepsake Doll 2004Aurora Raggedy Ann Doll 36 Inch

Recent News: Raggedy Ann and Andy Dolls

Source: Google News

Coachella Valley woman: 99, active and counting
The Desert Sun, March 26th

In May 1915, World War I was underway in Europe, the Model T and silent movies were all the rage, a new home cost right around $3,500, gas was 25 cents a gallon, and a postage stamp was two cents. Raggedy Ann dolls, aspirin in tablet form, and ...Read more

PHOTOS: What The Toy And Miniature Museum Is Building With 330 Gallons Of ...
KCUR, March 26th

A new life for toys. Many of the donated toys carry memories. “My sister-in-law very kindly donated her Raggedy Ann and her Raggedy Andy," Lugg Regan says. "When my husband saw that he said, 'I remember the Christmas she got that. Is she really sure?'”...Read more

Hutton finds passion for quilting
The Tennessean, March 26th

His patterns run the gamut from whimsical patterns such as Raggedy Ann and Andy to John Deere tractors, from log cabin style patterns to horses and patriotic themes. Hutton said he's worked a variety of jobs over the years in masonry and has been a...Read more

Farmers market offers fruits, vegetables — and a dance
The Laker/Lutz News, March 25th

Her mobile business is based in Lakeland, but she travels for weddings, corporate events and house parties. Maryann Hendricks, 67, brought her Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls, children's dresses and accessories from Clearwater. Her grandmother taught her ...Read more

Dee Lores Hancock
Fremont Tribune, March 24th

She enjoyed sewing and made Raggedy Ann and Raggedy Andy dolls and quilts. She read her Bible daily and also helped teach By My Side children at the Methodist Church. She is survived by daughters, Judith (Fred) Heuerman of Fremont, Susan Hancock ...Read more

Curtain call: Love for sale
City Pulse, March 18th

Starlight Dinner Theatre's “The Garage Sale,” written by local theater icon Jane Shipley Zussman, uses Rag Baby (a take on Raggedy Ann) and Tuxedo Teddy to tell stories of real-life loss and the strength people find to rise up from the depths of...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

Raggedy Ann and Andy celebrate 100th anniversary
Folsom Telegraph, February 18th

Collector and story teller Mary Schwind shared the story of Raggedy Ann and Andy's beginnings in honor of their 100th anniversary for a full audience at the El Dorado Hills Senior Center last week. “(I was) fascinated by the historical and cultural...Read more