Raggedy Ann Dolls - A Guide to Raggedy Ann Dolls
The original Raggedy Ann doll was the creation of children's writer and illustrator Johnny Gruelle. He made and patented the first Raggedy Ann doll in 1915. Several years later, he began publishing children's stories about Raggedy Ann.
By 1920, Gruelle was publishing Raggedy Andy stories as well. As a storyteller, Gruelle was prolific and created Raggedy Ann and Andy stories every year until his death in 1938. These days, Raggedy Ann and Andy stories by Gruelle are available through Simon and Schuster, the publishing house that owns the rights to them.
Like many other classic pieces of Americana, Raggedy Ann and Andy items have become collectible. They have been made by a number of different companies over the years, starting with PF Volland Co. Georgene Novelties made them from 1938 until 1962, and the Knickerbocker Toy Co. took over from 1962 to 1982. From 1982 on, they have been made by Applause, Inc. and Russ Berrie. When purchasing a vintage Raggedy Ann or Andy doll, it is wise to verify the maker. There have also been a huge variety of associated Raggedy Ann and Andy memorabilia produced over the years and some of that is collectible, too.
There are also many dolls similar to the Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls produced by individuals or organizations not affiliated with Gruelle's original creation. Sometimes these are referred to as "raggedy dolls," or "primitive" dolls. Sometimes these dolls are advertised as Raggedy Ann or Andy dolls when in fact they are not, so buyers should always check carefully before making a purchase.