Happy Birthday Raggedy Ann!

Staff Writer
Columbus Parent

Guess who was born on this date?

Raggedy Ann! First introduced in 1915, this lovable doll with the unnaturally red, untamed hair and suspect makeup-application skills has inspired the sales of more than 50 million books and products since then. She's a member of the National Toy Hall of Fames, made the top 100 list on VH1's "I Love Toys" special, and is a mascot for sororities everywhere.

To mark the big birthday, Columbus Parent has scored a free commemorative Raggedy Ann doll and book, PLUS a size 3T girl's Raggedy Ann jumper and leggings, PLUS a Raggedy Ann and Andy holiday ornament, that we will give away to one lucky reader. So on our Facebook page, just weigh in with a "want it" and tomorrow we will select the winner.

In the meantime, here are a few fun facts about Raggedy Ann (or Rags, as her close, personal friend Barbie calls her):

  • In 1920, Raggedy Andy joined his sister in her adventures.
  • The Raggedy Ann doll was originally a brunette but in the early 1930s, then manufacturer the Georgene Novelty Company solicited design ideas from the public—who decided she'd look better as a redhead!
  • In 95 years, Raggedy Ann has inspired dozens of books, television specials (some directed by legendary animator Chuck Jones), animated feature and short films, a Broadway musical—and many variations on the original rag doll design.
  • The "Raggedys" have inspired a variety of legends—notably that of the candy heart: Stories have circulated that the original dolls featured a sewn-in candy heart (as she did in the storybooks). Gruelle's son, Worth, told of being sent to a candy store to buy the hearts; however, no doll with a candy heart was ever found. The first manufacturer, the Volland Company, did sew a pressed-cardboard heart inside each doll; the Georgene Novelty Company later changed this to a heart printed on the chest bearing the words "I Love You." Today this heart is embroidered on each doll.