Saturday, October 10, 2015

Raggedy Ann Turns One Hundred Years Old

Who of us does not recall having a Raggedy An or Andy doll as children?  I, for one, do and wish I still had it to this day.
Raggedy Ann Turns 100With her button eyes, triangle nose, candy-striped pantaloons and orange yarn hair, Raggedy Ann is one of the most recognizable dolls around. This famous redhead has gone through a only few updates in her 100 years.

Ann’s 1915 patent shows her with very long thumbs, a teardrop-shaped nose, a puffy dress, and a floral bonnet with her namesake on a ribbon.
While much folklore surrounds her creation, we know that Raggedy Ann’s creator Johnny Gruelle, actually created Raggedy Ann (and later Raggedy Andy) for the pages her of children’s books.

According to family lore, his young daughter, Marcella, stumbled upon a well-worn, faceless rag doll while exploring her grandparents’ attic sometime before 1914. Gruelle and his wife, Myrtle, spruced up the doll for Marcella, giving her facial features and inscribing the message, “I love you,” within the doll’s newly drawn heart.

Set in his daughter Marcella’s nursery, Gruelle’s first book, The Raggedy Ann Stories, introduced the doll who embarked on a series of adventures: raiding the pantry, rescuing the family dog, and teaching tolerance to the other dolls in the nursery. But tragically, their daughter died of an illness at age thirteen.  

Raggedy Ann’s popularity soared when the P.F. Volland Co. published Raggedy Ann Stories in 1918. The author patented a doll version of Raggedy Ann and a doll based on Raggedy Andy, who made his first book appearance in 1920.

So much happiness has happened around the Raggedy dolls and books.  It is quite a legacy, and long may is continue, so that other kids will have the opportunity to heap lots of love on their personal Raggedy dolls.

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