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.

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Recent News: Raggedy Ann and Andy Dolls

Source: Google News

Running Notebook: Costumes come out for Spooky Spooner 10k/5k at ...
SouthCoastToday.com, October 24th

Raggedy Ann wasn't the only costumed winner last year as comic book hero The Flash (New Bedford High graduate J.J. Vieira) took the men's 5k race. The other winners were Molly Rouillard of Dartmouth in the women's 5k and Benjamin Ndaya of ...Read more

It's Not A Cute Raggedy Ann Doll
The Lion's Pride, October 16th

From the maker of the “Insidious” movies comes the prequel to “The Conjuring.” “Annabelle,” directed by James Wan, is the new movie that is sure to make viewers terrified of dolls. The story begins the year before the events of “The Conjuring.” When...Read more

Looking back: The untold story of Raggedy Ann
Myhorrynews, October 13th

The beloved Raggedy Ann doll has been woven into our childhoods and hearts for almost 100 years, and this iconic doll has been seen in print, cartoons, movies, and books all over the world. Although there were myths and controversies surrounding this ...Read more

Annabelle Creepier on Big Screen Raggedy Ann and Storyline Changed
Viral Global News, October 5th

Hollywood has a way of engaging minds, transforming stories and inserting the creepy background music that sends chills down your spine. It was no different for the creepy doll Annabelle movie. It seems to be no different for Lorraine Warren, her late ...Read more

Annabelle: The History and Demon Behind the Doll
Guardian Liberty Voice, October 4th

Originally, as the history of the Raggedy Ann doll goes, a mother found the doll in a second-hand store and bought it sometime during the 1970s. Her daughter, Donna, who had a roommate, Angie, was happy when she was given the doll, but that happiness ...Read more

The classic, smiley Raggedy Ann dolls were originally handmade in West ...
Interlochen, September 30th

If there's been a little girl in your life at any point, chances are pretty good that Raggedy Ann made her way into your home. The cloth doll with the yarn hair and the candy-cane-striped stockings has been a part of America's toy scene for a century...Read more

Meet Annabelle, the big screen's newest terrifying doll
New York Post, September 27th

The real Annabelle — actually a Raggedy Ann doll — was bought in 1970 and supposedly terrorized a family, who later called in the Warrens for help. (They've chosen to remain anonymous all these years.) They claimed that the toy moved around the house ...Read more

The Raggedy Ann Salad
WHBL Sheboygan (blog), September 16th

For some reason, the Raggedy Ann salad was my go-to. It was a a canned peach for a body, celery sticks for arms and legs, a hard boiled egg for a head, raisins for eyes and buttons, peanut nose, maraschino cherry slice for a mouth, and shredded cheese...Read more