1997 32¢ Raggedy Ann
Classic American Dolls
Issue Date: July 28, 1997
City: Anaheim, CA
Printed By: Sterling Sommer for Ashton-Potter (USA) Ltd
Printing Method: Lithographed
Perforations: 10.9 x 11.1
Without a doubt, Raggedy Ann is one of the most beloved dolls of all time. A simple cloth doll with bright eyes and smiling mouth, she is impossible not to hug – and perhaps this accounts for the reason sales of the dolls have been astronomical.
The original Raggedy Ann was patented by Johnny Gruelle, a political cartoonist, in 1915. According to stories, Gruelle took a long-forgotten doll, which he found in his mother’s attic, painted a new face over the faded one, and gave the doll to his daughter Marcella. Inspired by his daughter’s devotion to the doll, he acquired a patent to create Raggedy Ann (whose name was formed from two popular characters of the day – The Raggedy Man and Little Orphan Annie) commercially.
Originally the dolls were made in the corner of a friend’s shirt factory by Gruelle’s family. In 1918, he began a series of stories about Raggedy Ann and her brother Andy’s adventures. So popular were the stories that demand skyrocketed, and before long the dolls were being mass-produced. Pictured on the front is an illustration from one of Gruelle’s books.
In 1978, one of the original Raggedy Ann dolls made a notable trip to Indianapolis, Gruelle’s birthplace, where she received a key to the city from the mayor.