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    

Rare 1935-38 Raggedy Ann & Andy Doll (ann) By Molly-'es Doll Outfitters 18-inchGeorgene Raggedy Andy Black Outline Nose 20 Inch Nice Outfit16" African American Black Cloth Raggedy Ann Beloved Belindy By KnickerbockerRare Molly'es Raggedy Ann Beautiful 22 Inch With Original Dress No ReserveRaggedy Ann And Andy Pull Toy 2005 Japan Festival Buddy L Raggedy Ann & Andy Camper #5357 Steel Truck Toy With BoxVintage Raggedy Ann Rag Doll ~ Rare Blonde Hair ~ Button Eyes & Clothes 30s 40sPrimitive Raggedy Ann~pumpkins~ghosts~witches~stitched Face~Primitive Raggedy Ann~batty For Annie~Vintage 1918 Johnny Gruelle Raggedy Ann Stories - ARaggedy Ann And Andy And Blue CamelRaggedy Ann, Andy And Camel 2001 Japan Festival Raggedy Ann And Andy Festival In Japan 2007Anri Wood Carving Figurine "raggedy Andy" The Bobbe-merrill Co. Inc.Handmade Raggedy Ann And Andy By Hiromi, Japan Georgene Raggedy Ann Complete 15 Inch19" Georgeme Raggedy Ann In Original OutfitRaggedy Ann And Andy Pull Toy 2007 Japan FestivalCustom Boutique 4/5 Raggedy Ann Doll Halter Dress Euc HandmadeEarly C. 1915-1920 Antique Raggedy Ann Cloth Doll With ClothingRaggedy Ann CollectiblesPrimitive, Shabby Chic, Folk Art Raggedy Ann Type Doll, KittyToddler Size 3 Strasburg Dress Red Plaid Sleeveless Raggedy Ann Smocked GucAntique Raggedy Ann And Andy1977 Vintage Bobbs Weeble Wobbles Figure Set Raggedy Ann & Andy N.i.b. Rosie O'neill An American Treasure Kewpie Raggedy Ann & Andy DollsPrimitive Handmade Raggedy Ann Doll In Bumble Bee DressPrimitive Raggedy Ann Whimsical Fall/autumn Pumpkin Annie DollRaggedy Ann CollectiblesPrimitive Handmade Country Raggedy Ann Doll In Homespun Dress1:12 Scale Dollhouse, Raggedy Ann & Andy Dolls About, 1 3/8 Inch Tall10 Yards Overall Raggedy Ann & Andy Print Flannel Daisy Kingdom-cute But Flaw1945 Cleety The Clown, Raggedy Ann Coloring BookRaggedy Ann And Andy Panel Wall Quilt Hanging Daisy Kingdom Fabric 1 YardVintage -- Raggedy Ann Coloring And Paper Doll Book -- 1971Raggedy Ann And Andy Fisher Price ToyRaggedy Ann And Andy Rags DollsPrimitive Raggedy Ann Doll Olde Homespun Annie Americana With Flag WowPrimitive Raggedy Ann Prim Pear AnniePrimitive Handcrafted Halloween Raggedy Ann Doll Black Cat DressVintage Raggedy Ann & Andy Dolls Knickerbocker Polka Dot Dress Light Blue PantsRaggedy Ann And Andy On Swing Kurt Adler Resin Ornament Without BoxPatriotic Raggedy AndyRaggedy Ann & Andy Fabric-andy W Stick Horse-ann W Kite-dianna MurcumVintage Miniature Raggedy Ann Dolls16" Raggedy Ann & Andy Blue Camel Wrinkled Knees Plush ToyPrimitive Raggedy Ann Doll Olde Attic Annie With Calico Apron And KittyLot 30 Doll Sewing Patterns Barbie Raggedy Ann Polly Pal Cabbage Patch WeddingDollhouse Miniatures Vintage Working Magnetic Writing Pad Toy W/ Raggedy AnnRaggedy Ann + Andy Rubber Stamp Cardmaking Stamping Scrapbooking Craft RagdollsRaggedy Ann & Andy Metal Lunch Box Vintage 1973Vintage 1970's Knickerbocker 15" Raggedy Ann Doll 1974 Bobs Merrill Raggedy Ann Stationary Lot 2 Sheets E/envelope Hallmark1989 Flambro Raggedy Ann & Andy Ornaments 3 Kurt S Adler Raggedy Ann & Andy Glass Holiday Ornaments Vintage Now Raggedy Ann Lapel Pin Enameled Raggedy Ann Pin Pinback Doll PinsVintage Emmons Raggedy Ann Pendant 1 1/2" ~10 Grams~Raggedy Ann And Andy Dolls LotPrimitive Raggedy Ann Whimsical Sweet Apple Annie Doll W/orniePrimitive Folk Art Raggedy Ann Doll By Along The Picket Fence