Raggedy Duo in Public Domain But Does Anyone Play With Them Nowadays?

Never used nowadays lately but had to look it up to be sure I spelled it correctly.

While in Ohio this past weekend, I was helping sort through some toys in the playroom.  Matchbox cars here, a duffel bag of puppets, strollers and baby dolls and a whole tub of action figures like Batman and Star Wars light sabers.  A box of wooden blocks.

The grandchildren are growing up and many of the younger toys aren’t being played with and room needs to be made for new ventures.

These Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls were gifts from Great Aunt Bobbie when Anna(9) was born.  They looked exactly the same way they have smiled at me for all these years. No change in expression.  Just grinning. They looked almost brand new.

I took them upstairs and set them up in my father’s old oak rocker which is now in Mark’s office.  They didn’t object to being photographed.  I started thinking about rag dolls and how they aren’t trendy and I wondered if people are still buying them.  These are lovingly handmade in Kansas City and  I think of them as classics.  Nostalgia sets in.  

But then I had a Raggedy Ann book when I was little and I think she was more popular in the 50’s.  I see lists of patterns for sewing them and the first Raggedy Ann doll  was created in 1915. Raggedy Ann is based upon the author Johnny Gruelle’s character of his book.     They are still being manufactured today.


“Gruelle’s home town, Arcola, Illinois, is the former home of the annual Raggedy Ann & Andy Festival and the Raggedy Ann and Andy Museum. The museum was closed and the festival discontinued in 2009. Some of the museum’s contents were donated to the Strong National Museum of Play”    (Although the museum closed in 2009 there is a website from 2007- there’s a great photo of an early Raggedy Ann doll.)

Seems American Girls are at the top of wish lists and I just started thinking about what’s popular in different decades for doll play.

Raggedy Ann and Andy Dolls

29 thoughts on “Raggedy Duo in Public Domain But Does Anyone Play With Them Nowadays?

  1. I had a co-worker make a set of dolls for me when I was expecting. I still have them 25 years later & can’t bring myself to get rid of them. I’ve lost touch with the gal who made them. I think I’m attached to them because they have an old world charm. They were great decorations in the nursery, but my son never played with them!

    • Another touching Raggedy doll story, Anne. Thanks for sharing. They are charming. Maybe I can challenge everyone to gather up their Rag Dolls and photograph them? I have no idea about how to post a challenge but I would love to see your son’s handmade pair that you still have.
      What do you think?

  2. I loved Raggedy Ann and Andy growing up. My daughter’s first birthday cake was a in the shape of Raggedy Ann. Love your photo!


    • Thanks Francine. Not sure how to go about it, but maybe people could dust off their old Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls and post a photo of them.
      Love the idea of the cake shape!

    • Hi John. I was going to write a private response to your comment and say that it isn’t that they were cared for so well but it was a lack of playing with them (Sorry, Aunt Bobbie) and they were more like decorations. Oh they spoke to me, but not the four grandchildren. You’ve seen the baby doll photos of the well loved dirty faced, balding baby….This pair sat on the toy box or the wooden shelf or the bookcase and just stared into space, hoping for a hug or some loving.

  3. I never had Raggedy Ann and Andy but wish I had. It was a simpler time. Kids could pretend with them. Nowadays the toys pretend for the kids.

  4. I made a Raggedy Ann doll for my mom many years ago. (I don’t remember why, but there must have been a reason.) Raggedy sat on the counter of their motor home during all of their travels. Now she sits on a side table in my dad’s living room, watching over him during his cancer journey. Some day she will come back to my home and she will probably watch over me too! I wonder how many of us she will outlive.

    • Thanks Margie. I hope you post a photo of your Raggedy Ann doll you made for your mother. I know there are so many Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls out there, just waiting for a photo op.
      I bet she cheers your dad! Thanks for your nice comment today.

  5. What a neat portrait of the American classic kids – I suspect Andy was the first boy doll, especially one not related to soldiering , warfare or intergalactic conflict. My faves as a child and lovely to know some things do last to be enjoyed generations later. THANKS. Lois

    • Yes, out of the playroom and upstairs! I like your comment and went back and looked at them and I see what you mean.

      I think I should get people to photograph their Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls and have some guest posts.
      See what expressions they have. Surely someone has one that looks dearly loved!

  6. They do indeed look almost brand-new still! My mom used to make every baby she knew a Raggedy Ann (or Andy, depending on the gender of said baby!) when they were born. Since her stroke almost 6 years ago, she hasn’t been able to make them…which means my youngest child never got one from her. makes me so sad even though, yes…you’re right…my two oldest don’t play with theirs. but don’t tell my mom that. I might have to blog about this, too. Great post, Ruth. Makes me ache inside.

    • Aww Gretchen I am sorry your mom had a stoke and couldn’t make one for your youngest. I do hope you blog about this and I am sorry for your ache inside. These Raggedys sure spoke to me, and were my most cooperative subjects. As good as those sock monkeys!

      • 🙂 I definitely WILL blog about it – I even have a photo of Mom holding one or two she had made once – and I will link to your photo, too! 🙂 I might wait until Mother’s Day…but then, I might do it sooner because it’s fresh in my mind and I’m inspired! Thanks for your post – I didn’t ache for too long, so that’s ok!

    • One more thought. How about everyone photographing their Raggedy Ann or Andy dolls and posting them. Like a pseudo challenge?

      • Hey, I like that idea! I like it a lot! Ok…now I’m even more inspired. I have to write my four articles for the newspaper and and focus on that, but maybe I can fit it in next week!!! 🙂

  7. Beautiful photo of the Raggedy dolls, Ruth. The mention of Matchbox cars took me way back to my son growing up. He had a huge collection, and used to play with them for hours on end. He sold them years ago to a collector, and I wish he’d kept them for his son, but I guess he couldn’t foretell the future. 🙂

    • You know I still have my sons’ little cars but never gave them to the grandsons cause I was thinking the paint was probably poison and both boys put stuff in their mouths. So what am I saving them for? Crazy, isn’t it?

  8. I had a set of these EXACT dolls growing up. Mine are at my parent’s house, worn and dirty. I think that’s the best compliment a toy can get. 🙂

Thanks for your visit. It's always good to hear you stopped by.