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

The True Story Behind 'Annabelle' - The Doll Before the 'Conjuring'
Hallels, September 19th

Just when you thought the trailer for Annabelle is creepy and scary enough, comes the news that Annabelle is real. The doll in the movie is very different from the real one. The real Annabelle doll looks just like any Raggedy Ann Doll. It was director...Read more

Northern Lights Junior Theatre to host auditions Saturday
Juneau Empire (subscription), September 18th

Well known for such past productions as “Peter Pan,” “Raggedy Ann and Andy,” and “The Sound of Music,” NLJT is expanding its mission to include academy classes in acting, dance, technical theatre and more, as well as community-based projects to give ...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

Post-Star Holiday Parade
Glens Falls Post-Star, September 12th

Nancy O'Brien-nobrien@poststar.com Characters like the Grinch, Batman and Raggedy Ann and Andy peppered the Holiday Parade in South Glens Falls on Nov. 22. nancy o'brien. Nancy O'Brien-nobrien@poststar.com A pair of decorated dogs from the ...Read more

Bland County cake baker back in business
Southwest Virginia Today, September 12th

“I like Raggedy Ann and Andy, too.” Each of her cakes is photographed and put into an album which Tolbert uses as a portfolio. There are elaborate wedding cakes, all kinds of birthday cakes, beautiful anniversary cakes and cakes for every holiday...Read more

Dentist's heart was without limit
Port Huron Times Herald, September 11th

She received a birthday card with a Raggedy Ann handkerchief in it for her birthday shortly after that. My mom was in a wheelchair and homebound. I asked him if I brought her false teeth in could he build them. He said he could take his equipment to...Read more

Early agriculture displayed among unique rock gardens
Agri News, September 2nd

Special events throughout the year include the Chet Kingery Memorial Bluegrass Festival in May, the Raggedy Ann Rally and World War II re-enactment in June, the annual Bluegrass in the Gardens Music festival in August and the upcoming Harvest Festival ...Read more

Jan's Salt Dough (Raggedy Ann and Andy)
azcentral.com, August 27th

Put the salt and flour into a bowl,then add the water slowly to the dry mix. After a few minutes of kneading, you'll get a soft ball. Step #2: Cut the Dough Into Shapes. Roll out ball and form or cut it into shapes using pastry cutters or cookie molds...Read more