Happy Birthday Raggedy Ann!
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.