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    

R John Wright 2004 "raggedy Ann The Magical Hour & Bed" 7.5" L.e.#268/400Primitive Raggedy Ann Doll~playtime Annie~flannel Bear~painted SneakersPair Of 1940s Georgene Novelties Silsby Cloth Dolls ~ Raggedy Ann & Andy ~Primitive~folk Art~raggedy Ann Doll~***~tussy Mussy Annie~***~Primitive Folk Art Raggedy Ann Doll In Blue Minky Dot Dress With Her DollieShadowbox W/vintage Raggedy Ann And Andy Seasons Hankey Game Pieces Party FavorBeautiful 26” Li-qua-che Handmade Raggedy Ann Doll $305 RetailPrimitive, Folk Art, Raggedy Ann Type Doll, Summer, OoakRaggedy Ann And Andy Pocket WatchPair Raggedy Ann & Andy Porcelain Dolls W/stands-danbury Mint-halloween OutfitsHandmade Raggedy Ann Doll, Burgundy Floral, Strawberry ButtonsVintage Johnny Gruelle's Raggedy Ann And Andy 1947 20" Dolls.primitive ~raggedy Ann~rag Doll Annie~prim Sheep.primitive ~raggedy Ann~rag Doll Annie~rooster-chickenRaggedy Ann Doll 18''Unique Find!madame Alexandercloth Raggedy Ann & Andy Dolls & Old Wooden Puppets .primitive ~raggedy Ann~rag Doll Annie~olde Toys~.primitive ~raggedy Ann~rag Doll Annie~zinnia's Garden FriendsPair Raggedy Ann & Andy Porcelain Dolls W/stands-danbury Mint-valentine Outfits17" Primitive Handmade Raggedy Ann Doll, By Tlc!Lot Of 7 Vintage Raggedy Ann & Andy Hardcover Children's Books ~ GruelleRuss Berrie Raggedy Ann And Andy Dolls In Collectors BoxSale ~ 3 Primitive Raggedy Ann Doll Lot ~ Handcrafted Folk Art* Primitive Raggedy Ann ~ Country Doll ~ Annie Tag * Blue Floral With Heart1973 Vintage 15" Empire Raggedy Ann Blow Mold Christmas Noel Night Light LampRaggedy Ann & Andy 70 Years Young Figurine Flambro Limited 678/2500 RareVintage Raggedy Ann & Andy 7" Dolls Knickerbocker Darling Cloth DollsRaggedy Ann And Andy Porcelain Dolls By Kelly J. Rubert Excellent In Box !Vintage Ideal Raggedy Andy Split Ring Inflatable Pool Toy Nip 1974 TaiwanRaggedy Ann/andy Stitchery Kit Lot Gail Wilson Crochet Dolls Pillows & Cases78 Rpm Record "raggedy Ann & Andy And The Nice Fat Policeman" Frank Luthe 1950'sLot Of 12 Raggedy Ann And Andy Books Vintage W Stories & Christmas Surprise ++10" Primitive Raggedy Ann Cloth Doll Patriotic Americana Flags Painted FaceCute Primitive Raggedy Ann Doll~ Button Eyes~ Handcrafted Folk ArtNew Handmade Raggedy Ann Clothes For 20" Doll - Loves To Sew!1930's Antique Composition & Cloth 17" Boy Raggedy Andy Doll Molded + Wig Hair Enesco Raggedy Ann Nurse Figurine"caring For You When You're Feeling Blue"1989 Mcdonald's Happy Meal Raggedy Ann & Andy Toys Sealed PackagesVintage 18" Talking Raggedy AnnRaggedy Ann And Andy Figurines Debartlo Originals Made In Japan 2 Vintage Johnny Gruelle Raggedy Ann Books - Hardcover Primitive Pillow Raggedy Ann And AndyRaggedy Ann & Andy & Batman Talking Alarm Clock Parts 1974 Red Bank Nj Nr.primitive ~raggedy Ann~rag Doll Annie~scotty DogMacmillian Raggedy Ann And Andy Dolls (3)Sterling & Camille Raggedy Ann & Andy Dolls Nutcracker Set In Original Box NewRaggedy Ann & Andy Musical Tea Time FigurineVintage Knickerbocker 1972 Raggedy Ann And Andy Dolls 18” With 2 Gruelle BooksLot Of (3) Raggedy Ann & Andy Vintage Alarm Clock Talking Bank Radio As IsDaisy Kingdom Raggedy Ann Back To School Border Fabric And Coordinating PrintPrimitive Raggedy Ann Doll Cloth Soft Doll Raggedy Ann ~ Musical Cream Dress Annie By AnnieprimdollsNew Handmade Raggedy Ann Clothes For 20" Doll * Buzy, Buzy Crafter & QuilterNew Handmade Raggedy Ann Clothes For 20" Doll - Americana Red, White & BlueMattel Barbie 1999 Collector Edition Kelly Tommy As Raggedy Ann Andy - NipVintage Raggedy Ann & Andy Melamine Dishes - Cup & Two Bowls - Lot Of Three (3)Original Raggedy Ann 6" Doll W/original Knickerbocker Box #0017Vintage Raggedy Ann Squeaky ToyRare W/ Box 1918 Raggedy Ann Stories Johnny Gruelle P.f. Volland Pub!New Handmade 20" Raggedy Ann Doll

Recent News: Raggedy Ann and Andy Dolls

Source: Google News

Irish vote gives glimpse of the future
Journal Gazette and Times-Courier, May 27th

ARCOLA – Doris Knaus, co-chairman of the first Raggedy Ann Festival, said an estimated 3,000 to 4,000 people attended the event over the weekend despite the occasional rain that fell. The winner of the Raggedy Ann and Andy Look-Alike Contest was ...Read more

Cartoon Art Museum home to strips known around the world
San Francisco Chronicle (subscription), May 27th

2004: “Raggedy Ann and Friends: The Art of Johnny Gruelle.” 2006: “Why Do They Hate U.S.? An International Perspective on American Politics” featuring more than 100 cartoons from 25 countries on American politics, political figures, Hurricane Katrina...Read more

Ask 'Mimi,' May 24, 2015
Champaign/Urbana News-Gazette, May 24th

No, but fans will converge in Arcola June 12 and 13 for a "rally" to celebrate Raggedy Ann's 100th birthday. The rally will feature a welcome dinner, auction of Raggedy Ann and Andy collectibles, a parade, live music, a coloring contest for kids, a...Read more

Summer Events Guide
Fort Wayne Journal Gazette, May 23rd

1 and 2: Doll and Teddy Bear Days, Sauder Village, Archbold; shows, sales, 100th birthday celebration of Raggedy Ann (for children); also workshops by doll and teddy bear artists July 30 and 31; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Aug. 1 and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Aug...Read more

Web Enhanced Opinion
Journal Gazette and Times-Courier, May 22nd

CHARLESTON – Eastern Illinois University professors John Faust and Harold Nordin have returned from recent travels to the Middle East, as part of the Joseph J. Malone Faculty Fellows Award for Arab and Islamic Studies. They were among 30 social ...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

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