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

Indiana Pork Tenderloin Sandwich: Redefining Sandwiches Since 1908
Willamette Week, July 21st

Nonetheless, Indiana is the birthplace of American greats such as James Dean, David Letterman and the Raggedy Ann doll. It's most known for a healthy corn supply, a vast Amish population, the Indy 500, Notre Dame athletics and a town named Santa Claus ...Read more

Emma Michael celebrates 100th birthday
Oconee Enterprise, July 21st

When she was a year old, cartoonist John B. Gruelle received a patent for his Raggedy Ann doll. On her 23rd birthday, Amelia Earhart and navigator Fred Noonan were last heard from over the Pacific Ocean while attempting to make the first equatorial ...Read more

Pork Tenderloin Sandwich: Redefining Sandwiches Since 1908
Willamette Week, July 20th

Nonetheless, Indiana is the birthplace of American greats such as James Dean, David Letterman and the Raggedy Ann doll. It's most known for a healthy corn supply, a vast Amish population, the Indy 500, Notre Damn athletics and a town named Santa Claus ...Read more

The doll is inside the house in the trailer for The Conjuring spinoff Annabelle
A.V. Club, July 18th

In a film full of memorable scares, The Conjuring's most notable gimmick is Annabelle, the diabolical Raggedy Ann doll director James Wan transformed into an archetypal creepy, antique plaything for the movie. She's so notable, in fact, that Annabelle...Read more

Now is the Summer of Our Discontent
CounterPunch, July 18th

Now is the summer of our discontent. Banned bombs, Made in America, rain down once again on the world's largest open-air concentration camp, mercilessly. Photos of lifeless babies pulled out like Raggedy Ann dolls from Gaza's burning debris make you ...Read more

Quilt Guild names show winners
Gering Citizen, July 17th

First place in the Miniature Quilts category went to Marlene Huston of Gering for “Wee Sailboats” and in second place was Jan Sears of Kimball for “Raggedy Ann and Andy.” In the This and That category, Judy Hoatson of Scottsbluff placed first for her...Read more

Raggedy Ann & Andy say, 'See you at the Ohio Hills Folk Festival in Quaker City!'
The Daily Jeffersonian, July 7th

Cecil Hall makes his way around two iconic Raggedy Ann and Andy figures that have greeted guests to the annual Ohio Hills Folk Festival in Quaker City for many years. They were made by Cecil's wife, Fran, and son, Steve. Each year they place them in...Read more

Nick Cannon Talks Living With Lupus, Going on 7 Years With Mariah Carey and ...
E! Online, June 30th

"They're like the new Raggedy Ann and Andy," the Wild 'N Out and America's Got Talent host joked, 'the adventures of Roc 'n' Roe,' to see my kids come to life in a story book and all this other stuff." Where does he find the time—and the energy—to...Read more