Story of a Rag Doll

Recently I heard someone mention Raggedy Ann and smiled with such sweet memories
of my childhood. Raggedy Ann was my rag dolls companion…precious friends.

Curiosity led me to research the origin of my beloved childhood doll and
what is such a sweet memory has such a grief stricken origin.
Johnny Gruelle
a cartoonist/writer repainted and reinvented a rag doll that was found in an
attic and given to his daughter. He named her utilizing the combination of two
titles from friend’s poems, “The Raggedy Man” and “Little Orphan Annie.”

Raggedy Ann was patented and massively distributed in 1915 by a grief
stricken father. His daughter passed away at the age of 13. Gruelle and his wife
blamed the child’s death on the fact that the child was vaccinated for small pox
without their permission. Doctors stated that it was heart failure but the
parents felt it was otherwise. She then became a symbol anti-vaccination.

His daughter became his muse for the series of children’s books that he
wrote. He named his human protagonist after his daughter. This reminds me of
Andy from Toy Story…who coincidently is named after Raggedy Andy the brother
of Raggedy Ann in the series.
Raggedy Ann was just a childhood memory but
after reading up the origins of the doll it’s a timeless piece of childhood
vaccine injuries and death.


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