History of Raggedy Ann

THE HISTORY OF RAGGEDY ANN

She began as a family rag doll; an old toy, faded and worn, tossed into an attic. And there, the legend goes, a little girl named Marcella found her one wet and rainy day.

Her father Johnny Gruelle, saw infinite possibilities in that old plaything, so he repaired her and gave her a name. With her shoe-button eyes and winsome smile, Raggedy Ann soon became the beloved playmate of Gruelle's young daughter, Marcella.

When Marcella Gruelle fell ill and died in her early teens, Johnny was devastated. But knowing how much his daughter had adored Raggedy Ann, he began writing the stories that were eventually published.

Gruelle soon gave Raggedy Ann a brother named Raggedy Andy, and through the years the two floppy rag dolls acquired many other wonderful story book friends - all inhabitants of a very special world, where dolls come alive and enjoy magical adventures when no mortals are present.

Reproduction Raggedy Ann & Andy Dolls can be a problem, so please do not rely on the information provided below. It is ONLY a guideline!

Some of the know reproductions include: Georgenes - tagged with a cloth label on the side seam, the reproductions are also made with what appears to be a well-worn tag on the side. Georgene's tags were white, whereas the copies have a peach-colored tags of the same material from which the body is made. Carefully check the back of the head; reproduction dolls have a coarse, loosely woven, red material covering beneath the yarn hair. Also watch for authentice Georgene Raggedy Anns that have had the red nose outlined with a black marker. The black outline should show the same amount of wear and fading as the rest of the face features.

A true vintage Raggedy is hard to copy. In addition to a good visual examination, smell the doll. Nothing can quite duplicate the scent acquired by a rag doll that has been around for 60 years. Several craft-type dolls boast of an "attic" smell, but these are only perfumes and don't have that true "I've been around a long time" smell. Inspect the seams. Recently made dolls have strong seams that lack an aged look.

Year Company Size/s Doll Characteristics
1918 Gruelle Family Hand-Crafted
Raggedy Ann Circa 1915(?)
  Body has loosely jointed limbs; stuffed with white cotton; long face with hand-painted features; brown yarn hair; candy heart in body (often sucked on by a child, so look for stains on the chest); homespun calico dress and white apron; typically marked with rubber-stamped date on tumy/back or unmarked; very rare.
1918 - 1919 P.F. Volland,
Non-Breakable Doll & Toy Company
Cottage Raggedy Ann
15" - 18" Referred to as "Cottage" Raggedy Anns: muslin bodies stuffed with cotton batting; wigs of medium-weight brown wool yarn; hand-applied faces (a painted-on line smile, a narrow, red triangular nose thinly outlined in black, eyebrows and lower lashes, sewn-on black shoe button eyes); painted-on Mary Jane style shoes (red/white striped leg fabric is visible); blue floral print challis dress (striking match for the dess fabric Gruelle had depicted on the cover of Raggedy Ann Stories); white cotton pinafores and pantalettes; small, dense cardboard heart set between cotton stuffing and chest fabric. Later "Cottage" dolls had sewn-on black or brown fabric feet; challis dresses of earth-tone prints; some dolls posses blue/white striped legs.
1920 - 1926 P.F. Volland,
Muskegon Toy and Garment Works
Patent Raggedy Ann
15", 16" Referred to as "Patent" Raggedy Anns: stamped with the line "Patented September 7, 1915"; machine-applied faces; fuller triangular nose outlined in black; black-line smile; blushed cheeks; eyebrows that curve downward at the outside; red/white striped legs; cardboard hearts; black sewn-on feet; removable cotton or challis dresses (usually a paisley or floral print); white cotton pinafores and pantalettes; wigs are of heavier brown yarn that usually incorporate looped-yard bangs and topknot. Later "Patent" Raggedy Anns changed slightly: heads grew rounder and fuller; printed facial features became darker; wigs became lusher.
1920 - 1927 P.F. Volland,
Beers-Keeler-Bowman
(1924 - William Beers Company)
Crescent Raggedy Andy
16" Referred to as "Crescent Smile" Raggedy Andy: substantial heads; disproportionaletly large hands and thumbs; cresecent shaped smiles with red rectangular centers; muslin bodies; machine-printed faces with shoe button eyes; red and white striped legs; and sewn-on fabric feet cut lower than Ann's; stitched-down "joints" on their legs/arms; no black nose outlin; sewn-on clothing (plaid shirt attached to blue cotton pants); mother-of-pearl shirt buttons at waist and each trouser leg; wigged in various shades of reddish brown yarn; crescent-shaped blue and white cap; 1925 heads were scaled down; slightly modified faces.
1920 - 1921
1924 - 1925
1928
P.F. Volland,
Beers-Keeler-Bowman
(1924 - William Beers Company)
Oversize Raggedy Ann and Raggedy Andy
30" - 36" "Oversized" Raggedy Andy: measured approximately three feet. "Oversized" Raggedy Ann and Raggedy Andy (1924); posses key characteristics of the standard-sized dolls being produced at the time; Andy, with his familiar crescent-shaped smile, and Ann, with her line smile and proportionately larger carboard heart. Both have red-orange noses (Raggedy Ann's is outlined in black); large, black bead eyes; sewn-on boot-like fabric feet; large hands and thumbs that seemed to be a Beers hallmark.
mid to late 1920s P.F. Volland
Singlelash Raggedy Ann
Singlelash Raggedy Andy
14" - 16" "Single Eyelash" Raggedy Ann and Raggedy Andy: single lower eyelashes (usually five for Ann and four for Andy); facial markings vary, appearing as lines, dots, or inverted triangles or "commas"; no company markings or other identifiers; most "Single Eyelash" Raggedy Andys possess a linear mouth with a small red center. Variations among the faces of the "Single Eyelash" dolls suggest that they may have been produced by more than one manufacturer. The appearance of the "Single Eyelash" dolls coincides with the period when the Beers Company had ceased its manufacture of the standard-size "Crescent Smile" Raggey Andy, and Volland was placing orders for both Raggedy Ann and Raggedy Andy dolls from C.B. Moore and Gerlach-Barlow.
late 1920s to
early 1930s
P.F. Volland,
C.B. Moore or Gerlach-Barklow
Transitional Raggedy Ann and Raggedy Andy
15", 16" Referred to as "Transitional" Raggedy Ann and Raggedy Andy: unoutlined nose; heavily blushed cheeks;, a low-set smile; five distinctuve triangular lower lashes. A similarly sized but very different looking "Transitional" Raggedy Andy doll, possessing a linear smile and a prominent (sometimes lopsided) unoutlined triangular nose, also found its way into the market place.
1931 - 1933 P.F. Volland,
C.B. Moore Company
Finale Raggedy Ann
Finale Raggedy Andy
14", 15" Referred to as "Finale" the last Raggedy Ann and Raggedy Andy produced by Volland: slightly smaller; heavy eyebrows that resemble bold-face commas; produced as a matched set.
1935 - 1936 Exposition Doll and Toy Company
Exposition Raggedy Ann
18" Exposition Raggedies: painted eyes and facial features; more triangular nose; almost as rare as the original family-crafted version.
1935 - 1938 Molly-'es Doll Outfitters
Molly-'es Raggedy Ann and Raggedy Andy
17" - 22" Raggedy Ann and Raggedy Andy: unlicensed production; heart printed on the chest; more structured, allowing them to set; legs are usually a multicolored striped material; dark auburn yarn hair; facial features are painted with large black eyes; triangular nose, outlined in black; usually stamped on the chest "Raggedy Ann & Andy Dolls Manufacturered by Molly-'es Doll Outfitters". Also made was a 14" Baby Ann and Andy: hair only along seam of head; back of head was fabric.
1938 - early 1940s Georgene Novelties
Georgene Raggedy Ann and Raggedy Andy
15" - 50" Raggedy Ann and Raggedy Andy: most desirable have black-outlined noses; floppy cloth bodies stitched at the knees/elbows; usually have red/white striped legs (few original Georgenes made with legs of different materials); yarn used for the hair changed color several times, from strawberry blond to a deep orange, and all shades in between; tin or plastic button eyes were added; mouth more defined, most dolls have a curved or wavy line; various cloth labels sewn in to the side seam of the doll all include "Johnny Gruelle's Own Raggedy Ann & Andy Dolls/and Georgene Novelties, Inc. New York City/Exclusive Licensed Manufacturer/Made in U.S.A.".
1940 - 1946 Georgene Novelties
Georgene Awake/Asleep Raggedy Andy
13" Awake Asleep Raggedy Ann and Raggedy Andy: One side of doll has an awake face and the other side is asleep; their noses were outlined until 1944.
1943 - 1946 Georgene Novelties 19", 23", 31" Wartime Raggedy Ann and Raggedy Andy: no outline on nose; different prints of fabrics used on feet; identical faces on both Raggedy Ann and Raggedy Andy.
1946 - 1950 Georgene Novelties 15", 19", 23",
31"
Postwar/Silsby Raggedy Ann and Raggedy Andy: Silsby printed on tag; identical faces; not all dolls made during this period had Silsby tags - what makes a doll a Silsby is only the tag.
1950s - 1960s Georgene Novelties 15", 19", 23",
31", 48", 50",
52"
Raggedy Ann and Raggedy Andy: metal eyes, except for larger dolls who had plastic eyes; facial designs varied; wigs glued to head; Raggedy Ann and Raggedy Andy had identical designs.
1962 - 1963 Georgene Novelties 19", 23", 31" Raggedy Ann and Raggedy Andy: stamped tags; facial designs varied; final year for Georgenes!
1963 - 1965 Knickerbocker Toy Company,
Joy of the Toy
15", 20" New York tags; no rouge on cheeks; hair a rusty color like Georgenes; noses and mouths lose the curve; eye brows thicker; Raggedy Ann's dress had different fabric variations; Raggedy Andy also had a few different variations on his shirt; made with a windup music box placed inside the doll.
1963 - 1982 Knickerbocker Toy Company
Knickerbocker Raggedy Ann and Raggedy Andy
   
1983 - present Hasbro/Playskool, Master License
Hasbro/Playskool Raggedy Ann and Raggedy Andy
   
1983 - 2011 Applause Toy Co./Russ Berrie
Applause/Russ Berrie Raggedy Ann and Raggedy Andy
   
2012 - present Aurora World Inc./Russ Berrie
Aurora World Raggedy Ann and Raggedy Andy
8", 12", 16",
25"
Fine facial features in soft brown tones; yarn hair; traditional embroidered "I Love You" heart on Ann's chest; larger dolls feature plastic button eyes; smaller sizes have embroidered eyes; Raggedy Ann is dressed in proprietary vintage-inspired fabrics; both Raggedy Ann and Raggedy Andy feature their own unique styling; comes with a 4 sided hang tag that highlight Raggedy Ann and Raggedy Andy's origin and legacy.