100 Years with Raggedy Ann (1915-2015)
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Raggedy Ann is a character created by American writer Johnny Gruelle (1880–1938) in a series of books he wrote and illustrated for young children. Raggedy Ann is a rag doll with red yarn for hair and has a triangle nose. Johnny Gruelle received US Patent D47789 for his Raggedy Ann doll on September 7, 1915. The character was created in 1915 as a doll, and was introduced to the public in the 1918 book Raggedy Ann Stories. When a doll was marketed with the book, the concept had great success. A sequel, Raggedy Andy Stories (1920), introduced the character of her brother, Raggedy Andy, dressed in sailor suit and hat.
It's noted that according to oft-repeated myth, Gruelle's daughter Marcella brought from her grandmother's attic a faceless doll on which the artist drew a face, suggested that the grandmother sew a shoe button for a missing eye, and then combined the names of two James Whitcomb Riley poems, "The Raggedy Man" and "Little Orphant Annie" and suggested calling the doll Raggedy Ann. In reality, as Gruelle's wife Myrtle told Hall, it was Gruelle who retrieved a long-forgotten, homemade rag doll from the attic of his parents' Indianapolis home sometime around the turn of the 20th century. He said then that the doll would make a good story. The couple's daughter, Marcella, had not yet been born when Gruelle found the doll. Marcella died at age 13 from an infected vaccination. Gruelle did not then create the limp Raggedy Ann doll as a tribute to his lifeless daughter, as another myth states.