Take a little stroll down memory lane with a reminder of the adventures of this beloved little red-headed rag doll and her little brother. Raggedy Ann and Andy Day is here to show some love for these little friends that have captured the hearts of so many children over the last century!
History of Raggedy Ann and Andy Day
The background behind the creation of the Raggedy Ann character comes with a bit of mystery, with a set of myths and legends. Some versions say that the author and illustrator, Johnny Gruelle found an old doll without a face in his parents’ attic and thought it would make a good character for a story. Other versions have him writing the stories for his daughter, Marcella.
But no matter how they were originally developed, Raggedy Ann and her brother Andy hold a special place in American toy culture through imaginative stories and delightful adventures. The story goes that Raggedy Ann gets her name from a combination of “The Raggedy Man” and “Little Orphan Annie” which were both from poems by James Whitcomb Riley.
The character was patented in 1915, just a few years before her little brother arrived in the stories with her in 1920. After this classic book character and toy became available to the public, the author wrote and published at least a book a year for almost twenty years until his death.
Although most people now picture Raggedy Ann in her current form as a redhead, the original version of the character actually had brown hair. While versions of her outfit evolved over time, Ann is often wearing a blue or red flowered dress with a white pinafore and her signature red and white striped socks or tights.
Raggedy Andy’s outfit is typically made up of a plaid shirt with short, blue pants and a blue bow tie. He also wears the red and white striped socks that match his sister’s.
Many versions of the Raggedy Ann doll have the words “I love you” printed, in the shape of heart, either printed or embroidered on the doll’s chest where Ann’s heart would be.
Raggedy Ann and Andy Day is here to celebrate and enjoy the nostalgia of these characters, encouraging people to remember and perhaps even bring them back around to pass on to their own children and grandchildren!
Raggedy Ann and Andy Day Timeline
Raggedy Ann is created
Johnny Gruelle receives the patent for the Raggedy Ann doll character.
Raggedy Ann books and dolls are sold together
Gruelle’s first book in the series, Raggedy Ann Stories, is published.
Raggedy Andy is introduced
Ann’s feisty little brother and closest buddy, Raggedy Andy appears in Gruelle’s books and as a doll.
Raggedy Ann stars in a movie
A cartoon version of the character is featured in “Raggedy Ann and Andy: a Musical Adventure”.
Raggedy Ann in Hall of Fame
Almost 90 years after her creation, Raggedy Ann is inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame.
How to Celebrate Raggedy Ann and Andy Day
Have some fun and show some love for these adorable characters by participating in Raggedy Ann and Andy Day with a few of these ideas:
Enjoy Some Classic Raggedy Ann and Andy Dolls or Books
One of the best ways to pay tribute to Raggedy Ann and Andy Day would be to head down to the basement or up to the attic and find that old set of dolls or books that has been in storage for a while. This would be a good time to dust off those dolls, read some of the books and perhaps even share some memories with the grandchildren about what these dolls and books meant in the past. Even better, pass them on to a special child to act as an heirloom!
Watch a Raggedy Ann and Andy Movie
Over the years, a number of different animated films have been released featuring the characters honored on Raggedy Ann and Andy Day. Three were made in the 1940s and then three more in the 1970s and 1980s. In honor of this day, perhaps it would be fun to locate one of these animated pictures and spend a bit of time enjoying the adventures of these little characters.
Purchase a Raggedy Ann and Andy Doll
Though they might be a bit hard to find in a typical toy store, Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls can be purchased in a number of places whether through local crafters or online. Or, for those who find it important the dolls be officially vintage, perhaps check Ebay or another auction website where doll collectors sell their vintage and antique versions of Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls. Other options for collector items with the Raggedy theme include pins, jewelry boxes, cookie jars, plates, comic books and so many more.
Try Making a Raggedy Ann or Andy Doll
Many different seamstresses, crafters and artists enjoy doll-making as a hobby! And for those who like to make cloth dolls, Raggedy Ann is a classic doll to make. With her red yarn hair, triangle nose and striped leggings, this is the perfect craft project to bring a little bit of nostalgia into Raggedy Ann and Andy Day.
Raggedy Ann and Andy Day FAQs
How much is a Raggedy Ann doll worth?
Values vary, but an original Raggedy Ann patented in 1915 could be worth $3000 or more.
How old is Raggedy Ann?
Raggedy Ann was patented in 1915, so she is more than 100 years old!
Are Raggedy Ann and Andy siblings?
Yes, Raggedy Andy is the little brother of Raggedy Ann.
Is Raggedy Ann public domain?
Certain versions of the original Raggedy Ann books are public domain in the US, but trademarks may still exist for the toy doll.