M972.160.31.1 | Raggedy Andy

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Rag doll
Raggedy Andy
About 1935, 20th century
51.5 x 18.2 cm
Gift of Mrs. Samuel T. Adams
© McCord Museum
Keywords:  Doll (129)
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This male doll, named Raggedy Andy, is Raggedy Ann's brother. The two rag dolls with triangular noses and button eyes are known all over the world. Their creator, American John Barton Gruelle (1880-1938), was a cartoonist, illustrator and writer.

Raggedy Ann is older than her brother. She doll was apparently inspired by an old faceless rag doll that Gruelle found in an attic. The doll, which he brought back to life by drawing a face on it, became his daughter's favourite.

John Barton Gruelle patented Raggedy Ann in 1915 and made the first dolls by hand. Starting in 1918, they were manufactured by the PF Volland Co., which also published Raggedy Ann Stories, the first book about the adventures of the doll created by Gruelle. Five years later, Raggedy Andy made his appearance and the book Raggedy Andy Stories was published.

Until his death in 1938, Gruelle wrote and illustrated an average of one new adventure each year. Through the stories, the author conveyed values such as goodness, generosity, co-operation, friendship and love. He depicted a kind, affectionate Raggedy Ann and a mischievous, but tender-hearted Raggedy Andy. The two dolls were tremendously successful, even during the Depression of the 1930s.