Do You Know About Illinois’ Strong Ties to the Raggedy Ann Doll?
We all know what Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls look like, but did you know they started as a special gift from one Illinois man to his daughter? Here's the story...
How the Raggedy Ann and Andy Dolls Were Born
I'm pretty sure I had a Raggedy Ann doll as a child, (because I had bright red hair when I was very young), but I'd be lying if I said she was one of my favorites. Was it the scarecrow look on her face that turned me off? Did I not appreciate her red hair? I can't remember why I didn't love her, but today I learned something fascinating that made me appreciate her way more...she was "born" right here in Illinois back in 1915!
According to the National Museum of Play, Raggedy Ann was created by a cartoonist and illustrator named Johnny Gruelle from Arcola, Illinois when he decided to draw a face on one of his young daughter's old, grubby rag dolls and call her "Raggedy Ann" in 1915.
Three years later, Gruelle wrote a children's book about Raggedy Ann and her many adventures that took place each night when humans went to sleep. The book's publisher decided to sell a doll along with the book, and it turned into a worldwide children's sensation. A new book series featuring Raggedy Ann's brother Andy debuted in 1920, and the rest, as they say, is history.
Johnny Gruelle wrote at least one new Raggedy Ann/Andy story per year for the next 20 years, and many of those stories are still available for purchase now on Amazon.
Do you remember reading Raggedy Ann/Andy books when you were a kid? Do you read them to your own children now? Let us know by sending us a message on our app!