Thursday, January 21, 2010

Just a little Raggedy Ann History


I've always wondered where these fabulous dolls originated and now I know the rest of the story. If you know any more information on these please add to it by posting.

Raggedy Ann
Raggedy Ann is a fictional character created by American writer Johnny Gruelle in a series of books he wrote and illustrated for young children. Raggedy Ann--a rag doll with red yarn hair--was created in 1915 as a doll, and was introduced to the public in the 1918 book, Raggedy Ann Stories. A doll was also marketed along with the book to great success. In 1920, Raggedy Andy Stories introduced the character of her brother, Raggedy Andy, dressed in a sailor suit and hat.

Gruelle created Raggedy Ann for his daughter, Marcella, when she brought him an old hand-made rag doll and he drew a face on it. Her name comes from a combination of two poems--"The Raggedy Man" and "Little Orphan Annie."

Marcella died at age 13 after being vaccinated at school for smallpox without her parents' consent. Authorities blamed a heart defect, but her parents blamed the vaccination. Gruelle became an opponent of vaccination, and the Raggedy Ann doll was used as a symbol of the anti-vaccination movement.

Raggedy Ann dolls were originally hand-made. Later, PF Vollman, a Gruelle book publisher, made the dolls. In 1935, Vollman ceased operations and Ann and Andy were made by Expotion Dolls.

Gruelle's home town, Arcola, Illinois, is home to the annual Raggedy Ann and Andy Festival, as well as the Raggedy Ann and Andy Museum.

Raggedy Ann was inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame in 2002. Raggedy Andy joined her in 2007.

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