For many people, rag doll and Raggedy Ann are one in the same. After all, Raggedy Ann and Raggedy Andy have been delighting us for more than 100 years now!
Raggedy Ann first came about when cartoonist Johnny Gruelle refurbished a faceless rag doll he found in his grandmother’s attic. Thinking this doll might generate a good story, he gave it the name of Raggedy Ann. When his daughter, Marcella was born, Raggedy Ann became her doll and Gruelle began writing children’s books based on his observations of Marcella playing with her doll. Marcella was the first, but not the last, child to fall in love with Raggedy Ann!
Gruelle’s stories and dolls were patented in 1915. The first mass-produced Raggedy Ann dolls looked much like our modern day raggedy dolls, but they had straight brown yarn hair and shoe-button eyes sewn in place. Current day Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls are manufactured by Aurora world Inc. These charming red headed dolls continue to capture the hearts of children young and old. One unique feature of the Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls is the signature “I love you” embroidered in their heart. Take a look, on the chest of every Raggedy Ann and Andy doll is a heart with the I love you message sewn in. She is said to be the first doll with a heart.
Raggedy Ann’s status was cemented in 2002, when the doll was inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame. Raggedy Andy followed in her footsteps, earning his spot in the hall of fame five years later.
Who would have dreamed that when artist and writer Johnny Gruelle filed a patent on Sept. 7, 1915 that his doll, Raggedy Ann, would still be a household name 100 years later? Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls are all about love, kindness, and good morals, messages still worth spreading.
original dolls current day dolls