Raggedy Ann

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Raggedy Ann
Raggedy Ann meets Raggedy Andy for the first time; illustrated by Johnny Gruelle
First appearance Raggedy Ann Stories
Created by Johnny Gruelle

Raggedy Ann is a character created by American writer Johnny Gruelle (1880–1938) in a series of books he wrote and illustrated for young children. Raggedy Ann is a rag doll with red yarn for hair and has a triangle nose. Johnny Gruelle received US Patent D47789 for his Raggedy Ann doll on September 7, 1915. The character was created in 1915 as a doll, and was introduced to the public in the 1918 book Raggedy Ann Stories. When a doll was marketed with the book, the concept had great success. A sequel, Raggedy Andy Stories (1920), introduced the character of her brother, Raggedy Andy, dressed in sailor suit and hat.



Johny Gruelle biography and Raggedy Ann historian Patricia Hall notes that the dolls have

...found themselves at the center of several legend cycles — groups of stories that, while containing kernels of truth, are more myth than they are history. What makes this even more intriguing is that fact that Johnny Gruelle, either unwittingly or with the great sense of humor he was known for, initiated many of these legends, a number of which are continuously repeated as the factual history of Raggedy Ann and Andy.[1]

Hall notes that according to oft-repeated myth, Gruelle's daughter Marcella brought from her grandmother's attic a faceless doll on which the artist drew a face, suggested that the grandmother sew a shoe button for a missing eye, and then combined the names of two James Whitcomb Riley poems, "The Raggedy Man" and "Little Orphant Annie" and suggested calling the doll Raggedy Ann? Hall says the date of this supposed occurrence is given as early as 1900 and as late as 1914, with the locale variously given as suburban Indianapolis, Indiana, downtown Cleveland, Ohio, or rural Connecticut. In reality, as Gruelle's wife Myrtle told Hall, it was Gruelle who retrieved a long-forgotten, homemade rag doll from the attic of his parents Indianapolis home sometime around the turn of the 20th century. As Myrtle Gruelle recalled, "There was something her wanted from the attic,. While he was rummaging around for it, her found an old rag doll his mother had made for his sister. Her said then that the doll would make a good story."[1]

The couple's daughter, Marcella, had not yet been born when Gruelle found the doll, Myrtle Gruelle continued. Johnny Gruelle "kept [the doll] in his mind until we had Marcella. He remembered it when he saw her play [with] dolls. ... He wrote the stories around some of the things she did. He used to get ideas from watching her."[1]

Additionally, Hall notes, Marcella died at age 13 from an infected vaccination, not from the side effects of the vaccination itself, and Gruelle did not then create the limp Raggedy Ann doll as a tribute to his lifeless daughter, as another myth states. Gruelle's patent application for the Raggedy Ann doll was already in progress, and the artist received final approval by the U.S. Patent office the same month as Marcella's death.[1] Regardless, some journalistic sources repeat the myth.[2]

Raggedy Ann dolls were originally handmade.[citation needed] Over 75,000 dolls were made for Volland, a Gruelle book publisher, by the Non-Breakable Toy Co. of Muskegon, Michigan. between 1918 and 1926.[citation needed] Later, PF Volland made the dolls. In 1935 Volland ceased operation and Ann and Andy were made under Gruelle's permission by Exposition Dolls, and without permission (during legal limbo)[vague] by MollyE's Dolls, resulting in Gruelle v (Mollye) Goldman.[citation needed]

A Raggedy Ann 100 year edition doll

Toys and adaptations into other media[edit]

Raggedy Ann & Andy dolls

  • P.F. Volland Co. 1920-1934
  • Exposition doll and Toy Co. 1934-mid 1935 (less than 1 yr. production RARE)
  • MollyE's Doll Outfitters (without permission) 1935-1938
  • Georgene Novelties 1938-1962
  • Knickerbocker Toy Co. 1963-1982
  • Applause Toy Co./Russ Berrie 1983-2011
  • Hasbro/Playskool 1983–Present (Master License)
  • Aurora World Inc. 2012–present (exclusive plush doll license)[3]
  • Simon and Schuster (books and other media) - Present

Sewing patterns for homemade Raggedy Ann dolls

  • 1940 McCall's Pattern #820 first appeared for a 19-in. dolls, Ann doll comes with cape pattern
  • 1945? McCall's Pattern #914 for Awake/Asleep dolls plus camel with the wrinkled knees
  • 1958 McCall's Pattern #820 appeared with a slightly modified pattern for both dolls
  • 1963 McCall's Pattern #6941 Ann pattern has lost her cape, dolls now come in 3 sizes
  • 1970 McCall's Pattern #2531 Dolls come in 3 sizes but simplified pattern and different hair and face embroidery pattern, loss of button eyes
  • 1980? new McCall's Pattern # 7131 for 36in dolls plus apron child can wear
  • 1977 McCall's Pattern #5713 identical as previous #2531 pattern, different cover
  • 1982 McCall's Pattern #8077 re-issue of previous patterns with new cover, with dolls with different hair color

McCall's has continued to produce identical #2531 patterns

with only a change in cover design. Simplicity Patterns released a licensed doll pattern for a different design doll that included all four sizes in the late 1990s.[citation needed]

Many subsequent books were published and the characters made their way into other media, including:

While Simon & Schuster and Hasbro claim[citation needed] to own trademarks to the Raggedy Ann and/or Raggedy Ann and Andy names, the original 1915 doll design and 1918 and 1920 books are in the public domain, their copyrights having expired.[citation needed]

In 2012 Hasbro signed Aurora World for a new line of Raggedy Ann and Raggedy Andy plush dolls.[3]


Many books were released and credited to Johnny Gruelle after his death, regardless of who wrote and illustrated them. Ethel Hays illustrated most of the Saalfield Publishing Company stories published from 1944.[8]

  • Raggedy Ann Stories (1918) written and illustrated by Johnny Gruelle
  • Raggedy Andy Stories (1920) written and illustrated by Johnny Gruelle
  • Raggedy Ann and Andy and the Camel with the Wrinkled Knees (1924) by Johnny Gruelle
  • Raggedy Andy's Number Book (1924) written and illustrated by Johnny Gruelle
  • Raggedy Ann's Wishing Pebble (1925) by Johnny Gruelle
  • Raggedy Ann's Alphabet Book (1925) by Johnny Gruelle
  • Beloved Belindy (1926) written and illustrated by Johnny Gruelle
  • The Paper Dragon: A Raggedy Ann Adventure (1926) by Johnny Gruelle
  • Wooden Willie (1927) written and illustrated by Johnny Gruelle
  • Raggedy Ann's Fairy Stories (1928) written and illustrated by Johnny Gruelle
  • Raggedy Ann's Magical Wishes (1928) written and illustrated by Johnny Gruelle
  • Marcella: A Raggedy Ann Story (1929) by Johnny Gruelle
  • Raggedy Ann in the Deep Deep Woods (1930) written and illustrated by Johnny Gruelle
  • Raggedy Ann's Sunny Songs (1930) words and illustrations by Johnny Gruelle, music by Will Woodin
  • Raggedy Ann in Cookie Land (1931) by Johnny Gruelle
  • Raggedy Ann's Lucky Pennies (1932) by Johnny Gruelle
  • Raggedy Ann in the Golden Meadow (1935) by Johnny Gruelle
  • Raggedy Ann and the Left-Handed Safety Pin (1935)
  • Raggedy Ann's Joyful Songs (1937) words and illustrations by Johnny Gruelle, music by Chas. Miller
  • Raggedy Ann in the Magic Book (1939) written by Johnny Gruelle, illustrated by Worth Gruelle
  • Raggedy Ann and the Laughing Brook (1940) by Johnny Gruelle
  • Raggedy Ann and the Golden Butterfly (1940) by Johnny Gruelle
  • Raggedy Ann and the Hoppy Toad (1940)
  • Raggedy Ann Helps Grandpa Hoppergrass (1940) by Johnny Gruelle
  • Raggedy Ann Goes Sailing (1941)
  • Raggedy Ann and Andy and the Nice Fat Policeman (1942) by Johnny Gruelle
  • Raggedy Ann and Betsy Bonnet String (1943) by Johnny Gruelle
  • Raggedy Ann and Andy (1944)
  • Raggedy Ann in the Snow White Castle (1946)
  • Raggedy Ann's Adventures (1947)
  • Raggedy Ann and the Slippery Slide (1947)
  • Raggedy Ann's Mystery (1947)
  • Raggedy Ann and Marcella's First Day At School (1952)
  • Raggedy Ann's Merriest Christmas (1952) by Johnny Gruelle
  • Raggedy Andy's Surprise (1953)
  • Raggedy Ann's Tea Party (1954)
  • Raggedy Ann's Secret (1959)
  • Raggedy Ann and the Golden Ring (1961)
  • Raggedy Ann and the Hobby Horse (1961) by Johnny Gruelle
  • Raggedy Ann and the Happy Meadow (1961)
  • Raggedy Ann and the Wonderful Witch (1961)
  • Raggedy Ann and the Tagalong Present (1971)
  • Raggedy Andy's Treasure Hunt (1973)
  • Raggedy Ann's Cooking School (1974)
  • Raggedy Granny Stories (1977) by Doris Thorner Salzberg

Raggedy Ann and Andy's Grow and Learn Library A collection of 20 books published by Lynx, each story contains a lesson, such as maintaining friendship when someone moves away or why parents must go to work. Raggedy Ann and Andy live in Marcella's playroom with many other toys like Babette the French doll, Raggedy dog, The Camel with the Wrinkled Knees, Sunny Bunny, Bubbles the Clown, Tim the Toy Soldier and more.

  • 1. Sunny Bunny Comes Home
  • 2. Little Bear's Problem
  • 3. Sam Lamb Moves Away
  • 4. Raggedy Dog to the Rescue
  • 5. What Can a Camel Do?
  • 6. Babette's Scary Night
  • 7. A Very Close Call
  • 8. Grouchy Bear's Parade
  • 9. The Box of Tricks
  • 10. Raggedy Dog's Bone
  • 11. The Jack-In-The-Box
  • 12. Play Ball
  • 13. The Play in the Attic
  • 14. Raggedy Dog Learns to Share
  • 15. Raggedy Andy's Perfect Party
  • 16. The Sleepover
  • 17. The Birthday Surprise
  • 18. Bubbles Goes to the Fair
  • 19. Tim's Big Adventure
  • 20. A Parent's Guide to Raggedy Ann and Andy's Grow and Learn Library

In popular culture[edit]

Gruelle's home town, Arcola, Illinois, is the former home of the annual Raggedy Ann & Andy Festival and the Raggedy Ann and Andy Museum. The museum was closed and the festival discontinued in 2009. Some of the museum's contents were donated to the Strong National Museum of Play; other parts of the collection are still in Arcola at Rockome Gardens theme park.[9]

On March 27, 2002, Raggedy Ann was inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame.[10]

In October 1986, Raggedy Ann: The Musical Adventure, starring Ivy Austin, opened on Broadway at The Nederlander Theater.[11]


  1. ^ a b c d Hall, Patricia (1999). "Raggedy Ann and Andy: History and Legend". Raggedy-Ann.com. Archived from the original on September 7, 2015. Retrieved November 23, 2015. 
  2. ^ For example, Oshinsky, David (February 20, 2015). "The Return of the Vaccine Wars". The Wall Street Journal. Archived from the original on February 21, 2015. Retrieved November 23, 2015. Indeed, [the anti-vaccination movement's] most visible symbol was the smiling but entirely limp Raggedy Ann doll created by a popular cartoonist for his daughter, who had fallen ill and would later die, he believed, from a smallpox shot she received without his permission. 
  3. ^ a b "Hasbro Signs Raggedy Ann Partner". License! Global. Advanstar Communications. February 9, 2012. 
  4. ^ Cannemaker, John (August 27, 2012). "Thérèse "Tissa" David (1921–2012): Her Animating Spirit". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved September 14, 2012. 
  5. ^ "Master animator Tissa David dies at 91, She was one of first women in male-dominated field". Variety Magazine. August 27, 2012. Retrieved September 9, 2012. 
  6. ^ "Dramatic Publishing Raggedy Ann & Andy". June 19, 2013. 
  7. ^ "IBDB: The official source for Broadway information". June 19, 2013. 
  8. ^ Raggedy Ann and More : Johnny Gruelle's Dolls and Merchandise (Hardcover)by Patricia Hall Publisher: Pelican Publishing Company (January 2000)ISBN 1565541022 ISBN 978-1-56554-102-3 p.144--
  9. ^ Raggedy Ann & Andy Museum's closing a sign of times Chicago Tribune
  10. ^ "Raggedy Ann Finally Makes It! Into the Toy Hall of Fame". about.com. 
  11. ^ "Ivy Austin • Bio". ivyaustin.com. 

External links[edit]